Dutch Language Blog

Dutch Winter Food: Balkenbrij Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Culture

The cold has finally settled in the Netherlands and the trees are starting to turn into beautiful shades of orange, brown and red. With the change in season, comes a change in food. The first fall/winter dish I would like to write about is balkenbrij.

Balkenbrij (personal photograph)

Balkenbrij (personal photograph)

Balkenbrij or Kroeboet as it is called in Limburg, is a dish similar to American scrapple or the German Möppkenbrot or Panhas. It is commonly sold in the south and the east of the Netherlands in the regions of Overijssel, Noord-Brabant, Gelderland and Limburg (both Dutch and Belgian).

Balkenbrij is a dish made if scraps of pork such as stock leftover from sausages, organs such as liver, kidney or lungs mixed together with blood and flour. The blood makes the mixture turn black. Different spices are also added such as liquorice, sugar, anise, cinnamon, pepper and ginger. The mixture is placed on a pan to cool. Once it is completely cooled off, the loaf-like mixture is sliced. The following video shows a Brabant version of balkenbrij.

This past weekend, to my husband’s surprise, our local butcher had balkenbrij. If you find it, it is very easy to prepare. You simply place butter on a warm pan and let the slices cook on that butter. Let the slices darken (it almost looks like it is burned) on each side. Once it is ready, place it on a slice of bread and enjoy! You can also skip the bread and eat it like a steak with a side of potatoes.

Balkenbrij broodje (personal photograph)

Balkenbrij broodje (personal photograph)

Useful vocabulary:

Het varkenvlees– pork

Het najaar– fall

De kruiden- spices

Het spek- bacon

De lever- liver

Het bloed- blood

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!