Dutch Language Blog

This Dutch Invention Revolutionized NYE Posted by on Dec 31, 2020 in Culture, Dutch Language, Dutch Vocabulary

It’s the last day of the year! On this day, we play games, reminisce about the past year, and have a drink at midnight. Perhaps there are some vuurwerk (fireworks) or you partake in some other tradition, like the German Bleigießen (“lead pouring”). The Dutch have a greasy, sweet tradition that is indispensable – oliebollen (“oil balls”) and appelflappen (“apple flaps”, apple fritters). The former are deep-fried clumps of dough with poedersuiker (powdered sugar) and sometimes a filling, like krenten (currants). But today, we will lo0ok at the appelflappen, and the Dutch invention that made them that much easier to make!

What is an Appelflap?

This is an appelflap (apple turnover)… (Image by Rasbak at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY SA 3.0)

Before we get to the awesome uitvinding (invention), let’s talk about what an appelflap is – it’s not that straightforward. In the picture above, you can see a regular appelflap (apple turnover), which is a triangle made of turned over bladerdeeg (puff pastry) with an apple-raisin filling. So its name makes sense.

The appelbeignet is somewhat similar – it’s an apple-filled pastry. But the NYE appelflap is sometimes also known as an appelbeignet. What the difference is between all these has been outlined very nicely in this article.

Homemade appelflappen typical for Oudejaarsavond (New Year’s Eve) – sometimes known as appelbeignets. Fresh from the pan, sprinkled with poedersuiker, they’re divine! (Image by author)

As you can see, these appelflappen look very different. It’s a apple slice dunked in batter that is then deep-fried and sprinkled with poedersuiker. The skin and core of the apples is removed. But how can you easily remove the core? Here we get to our Dutch uitvinding!

Dutch Ingenuity: The Appelboor

Gif by Author

So what did the Dutch do? They invented the appleboor (“apple drill” – apple corer)! A long metal or plastic open tube with teeth at the end, the appelboor allows you to drill into the apple and pull out the core. In this way, you just have to remove the skin and you have a bare apple! Quite brilliant. You may have seen the variant where this is combined with an apple slicer, where you can remove the core and slice the apple with one move!

The appelboor was allegedly invented by the Dutch company Sola. The daughter of company boss Gerritsen ate an apple every day and complained to her dad about the pitjes (seeds) in the klokhuis (apple core). Gerritsen’s designers came up with the appelboor, that allowed easy removal of this annoying part of the delicious fruit.

And in this way, the appelboor makes it easy for anyone to quickly make appelflappen and change the way oudejaarsavond is celebrated in the Netherlands! Have you heard of the appelboor or used something similar before? Have you had appelflappen or oliebollen? What do you think of all of these things? Let me know in the comments below!

Tags: , ,
Keep learning Dutch with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.