The origin of the dutch croquette. The croquette is a typical Dutch product that we find difficult to obtain across the border. It is all the more remarkable that this original Dutch snack has its origins in France. It is first discussed in a 1705 edition of Le Cuisinier Royal et Bougeois, which was written by the cook of Louis XIV.
In the book there is a recipe for ‘croquets’, similar to the croquettes we know today. According to culinary expert Johannes van Dam, this was the oldest recipe found. The croquette was the size of an egg and looks more like a bitter ball. No bechamel sauce has been used yet, but there was already talk of breading it. Lard was then used to fry the croquette.
The first croquette in the Netherlands
The first croquettes in the Netherlands only appear a while later. It is a recipe that appeared in 1830 and is part of the private collection of Johannes van Dam. It is the oldest known Dutch recipe that talks about the croquette.
The recipe in the Netherlands comes from the chef of Willem I. The recipe is located in an appendix during the reissue of 1851 of the cookbook ‘Modern Cooking’. It was a cookbook by Maria Haezebroeck, who introduced us to the snack we love to eat today.
Since the nineteenth century we have been frying meat croquettes with fresh bromine crumbs and baking them in the frying pan. We traditionally did this in lard or butter, so there was no preparation as we do today. Remarkably, there was no longer a Royal snack, instead it was now about the processing of leftover meat.
At the beginning of the twentieth century we started to serve croquettes as an intermediate dish after the soup and for the main course. During The Second World War, the croquette changed from a luxury dish to the snack as we know it and consume it. Moreover, several variants have emerged over the years. Until 1996, croquette was the most popular snack in the snack bar. After that time, the frikadel passed the croquette and the traditional snack has not been able to regain that place.