Olibollen (literally “oil balls”) are fried balls of dough similar to beignets or zeppole. They are typically dusted with powdered sugar, and often include fillings or fruit mixed into the dough.
During the fall and winter months, Olibollen are available at street stands and carts throughout the Netherlands (including at Schipol airport). As you might guess, the’re not good for you in the least, but they taste amazing and are wonderfully warm and comforting on a cold evening.
Below are an assortment of treats found at olibollen stands in Amsterdam’s Old Centre district. Prices are from the 2011-2012 season. Appelbeignets contain a slice of apple surrounded in dough, fried and then dusted with cinnamon sugar. An appelbeignet is like a miniature fried apple pie. Krentenbollen are olibollen in which which currants (not raisins, as the translation on the sign notes) have been added to the dough. Rum Rozijnenbol are olibollen to which a rum raisin filling has been added after cooking.