In every Groningen snack bar you will find a typical Groningen snack specialty: the Groningen egg ball. He has even penetrated the automatic walls of the FEBO. According to experts, it should therefore not be missing from your culinary bucket list.
What is an egg ball?
An egg ball consists of – the name says it all – an egg, hidden in a round jacket. That egg is first boiled (the trick is not to do it too hard, because an egg yolk that is still running is of course the ultimate), peeled and then goes whole or half into a ragout. The ragout is slightly thicker than that of a croquette.
The whole thing is then rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. On the outside it looks like an oversized bitterbal. If you cut the egg ball open, you will see a cross-section of an egg, surrounded by a nice edge of ragout and finally a crispy deep-frying layer. You can imagine that that is delicious.
Scotch egg and fries egg
At first glance, such a Groningen egg ball looks a bit like a Scotch egg ; the snack that we also call bird’s nest in the Netherlands. The difference is that in that variant no ragout, but minced meat is folded around the egg.
We also have the fries egg: a specialty from Limburg. This also shows many similarities, but sometimes curry is added to the ragout (which is also sometimes done with the Groniger eierbal, but there is also a lot of discussion about whether that is possible and allowed). Or the egg is chopped into pieces and added to the ragout.
In Groningen – but the popularity of the eierbal extends from the north to the east of the Netherlands – the eierbal is now being welcomed with a kind of patriotism. It may have had something to do with the fact that the snack was declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2017.
Since then, the egg ball has started rolling and there is even an egg ball festival and the website eierbal.nl , where you can dress head to toe in eierbal clothing, from socks to hats and mouth caps. Also spotted: the egg bauble , which was sold last year.
The egg ball is also increasingly being given its own jacket. For example, a roti egg ball has already appeared and you will find mini egg balls on some menus in Groningen, with a quail egg in the middle. Or how about the ‘ Spanish egg ball ‘, with chorizo and chili pepper?
You wonder why those extremely tasty-sounding egg balls haven’t made it to cafeterias across the country yet. Maybe that’s because they have to be made by hand: freezing ready-to-eat doesn’t help the texture of the egg. So you really have to be committed to the snack if you want to be able to serve it to your customers.
The best egg balls
If you would like to try such an egg ball, listen to culinary critic Hiske Versprille, who wrote in De Volkskrant not so long ago that you eat the very best Groningen egg balls at Cafeteria Koning . They are made according to a secret family recipe.
Making your own is also an option: Rutger van den Broek shares a great recipe for egg balls . You will also find a recipe in the new Smokey Goodness cookbook – Lowlands BBQ – (more about that on Culy!) in the ragout. Or check the video below.