Surviving the patat

You may call them chips, fries or French fries depending on the part of the world you’re from. Here, the Dutch call them patat or friet. What makes them different in the Netherlands to anywhere else? The toppings.

There are a variety of sauces and toppings that are served with chips, some with unusual names.

Patat zonder

Translated simply this is ‘chips with-out’ a topping. You may still have to decide which kind of chips you want though. Margriet Jekkers of Jek’s Snack on the Oude Langendijk in Delft sells two kinds. Regular chips which are fried twice, and raspatat. The latter is a mixture of potato powder and water made in to a puree, pressed into shape and fried once. “The raspatat taste very different,” she said.

Patat speciaal is served with mayonnaise, ketchup and finely chopped raw onions

Patat met

If you order this you’ll get chips with mayonnaise. The mayonnaise here is very different to that available in other countries, it’s much thicker and creamier. “Chips with mayonnaise is our most popular patat dish,” said Erkan Arun of Alev Grillroom & Snackbar on Peperstraat in Delft. Although most snack bars actually serve fritessaus instead of real mayonnaise because it’s cheaper, since it contains less oil, and it keeps its form better on the hot chips. The plus side of this is it’s also the healthier option because of the lower fat content.

Patat speciaal

‘Special chips’ are served with mayonnaise, ketchup and finely chopped raw onions. You can usually choose between curry ketchup or regular tomato ketchup.

Patat pinda

You may see this dish described as chips with pindasaus or with satésaus, but they are the same thing. This spicy peanut sauce is very common and came from Indonesia, a former Dutch colony.

Patat Joppie

Chips served with Joppiesaus. The exact recipe is a trade secret, but the sauce has a vegetable oil base and also contains onion and curry powder. It was developed by the owner of a cafeteria in Glanerbrug, whose nickname was Joppie. The original recipe was sold to a company in Neede, who are now the legal owners of the brand name, which gained national notoriety when Lays crisps introduced the flavour Patatje Joppie in 2011. The sauce is now widely available.

The ingredients do end up looking rather like a bloody battlefield

Patat halfom

Piccalilli and mayonnaise top this dish. If you’re unfamiliar with it, piccalilli is typically a relish of chopped pickled vegetables such as gherkins, onions and cauliflower mixed with mustard and turmeric giving it a bright yellow colour.

Patat oorlog

The literal translation of this is ‘war chips’. There are variations regionally, but here in Delft your chips will come with peanut sauce, mayonnaise and finely chopped raw onions. Why is it called that? “I have no idea, maybe because it becomes such a mess,” said Jekkers. In fact, the ingredients do end up looking rather like a bloody battlefield. Attempts have been made to give the dish a less sinister name. “We call it patat feest (party chips) instead of patat oorlog,” said Arun. The dish is also called patat vrede (peace chips) in some places.

Patat chili mayo

As you might expect, this is chips served with a mixture of mayonnaise and chilli sauce. Patat samurai is a spicier version, served with a sauce of mayonnaise and sambal.

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