FLAVOURTOWN OLYMPICS: Bite these bitter balls, bro!!!

The Dutch continue to dominate in long track speed skating, winning six of the eight races in the Olympics so far–and more than one medal in three different distances. Hell, the only Canadian to win anything is actually a Dutchman–he moved here four years ago when he couldn’t make the Dutch team. Speed skating is definitely their national sport…and this right here is their national snack. We’re talkin’ bitterballen, bro!

borrel_bitterballen (7)

These round mounds of Flavourtown are deep-fried and crispy, stuffed with beef and cabbage. (You could get a vegetarian version, but why?) They come five to an order for $7.75 at Borrel, this friendly neighbourhood Dutch bar on the Danforth. Or you can get 10 for 15 bucks. Man, I’m pretty sure I could slam at least 17 of these, but I wanted to save room for this threaded beef sandwich:

borrel_beef_sandwich (5)

They call this stuff draadjesvlees, and it’s the breakfast of speed-skating champions. What you’ve got is seasoned beef, cooked low ‘n slow till you can pull it apart, then served up on a fresh bakery bun with some coleslaw on top. It’s pretty much the pulled pork of beef sandwiches. Rumour has it that Sven Kramer choked in the 10K cuz he didn’t eat enough draadjesvlees!

borrel_mini_pancakes (3)

But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! They call these poffertjes, and they’re practically pancakes on steroids…if steroids made round things smaller. (Oh, wait!) These fluffy buckwheat nuggets are covered in butter and icing sugar, and served up by the plateful. I’d give ’em the gold medal in long track speed-eating!


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