World’s biggest kroket


My friends, the brothers Marijn en Michiel Slager of Zeeuwse monster rock band Nuff Said, just posted their above video report (in Dutch) from the ‘world’s biggest kroket’ event that took place in Amsterdam in October 2007. I was also reporting from this special day in grease history. I recall being as excited as Kermit the Frog when he reported live from the scene of Humpty Dumpty’s nasty fall. Now thanks to the Slager Brothers, I can relive those happy, but mixed, memories. I pasted my own report here:

A marketing sham. But at least it was a freebie feast.
Amsterdam Weekly, 1 November 2007
By Steve Korver

Kom op, met die grootste kroket,’ says a 10-year-old boy, pretty much summing up the anticipation felt on Rembrandtplein last Saturday, before the kroket manufacturers Van Dobben presented their much-hyped ‘world’s biggest kroket’ — a 250 kilogram, one-and-half-metre long and half-metre thick hunk of deep-fried meat-and-potato goo, which required a bubbling bath of 1,200 litres of oil to bring its shell to maximum crustiness.

A talking head from the company explains over the microphone about how they wanted — with the help of an advertising agency — to do something ludieks, and give something back to Amsterdam. ‘After all, they’ve taken away most of our amsterdammertjes.’ So, Van Dobben decided, as compensation for the loss of these iconic parking poles, to give the world its biggest kroket ever. It makes perfect sense really.

As the crowd grows restless, personnel are handing out — for ‘gratis, eh’ — regular-sized kroketten, not only of  the standard beef ragout version, but also ones stuffed with haring, beer, apple pie or pea soup (the ‘snertkroket’ as one onlooker described it). All of these versions had been submitted to public scrutiny in an online vote during the past month, to decide which of the fillings would form the stuffing of the elephantine version.

As the volkszanger Dries Roelvink takes the stage, a thick Amsterdam accent rises from the crowd to note how the overtly tanned Roelvink is the perfect poster boy for this event: ‘Hij ziet er uit als een doorgebakken kroket!

Roelvink was the ambassador for the idea that the world’s biggest kroket should have the pea-soup filling. When Petra Boots, the editor of Weekend who’s presenting on stage, makes a joke about how it would have been more fitting for him to have represented the beer kroket, he answers: ‘Well you’ve obviously never seen me in my yellow swimming trunks.’ The crowd exchanges looks of deep confusion: What the hell does that mean?’

Finally the big moment arrives, as the monster kroket — supposedly filled with the vote-winning standard beef ragout — gets rolled up the red carpet, accompanied by a meatball shaped security guard with a handlebar moustache. The crowd presses in with cameras over their heads, so they can have a good look. Another chunky Amsterdam accent enquires: ‘What’s going on? Do they think a naked lady is going to pop out of there?’

It’s a mob. Kids start breaking out in tears. A mother starts to panic and call out for her ‘Luukje!’ The woman behind the microphone tries to keep the mood light: ‘There’s a kid under the kroket!’ The mother is not amused. More children start crying. And is that a fight breaking out in the corner?

Finally, the crowd thins enough for less aggressive folk to come in close for a gander. It’s big alright. The size of a human hotdog. But it’s also a big disappointment. Only a few people actually taste it and for good reason, it seems: the crust/ragout ratio is obviously out of whack — it’s pretty much the same thickness as a normal kroket, and the filling is obviously more potato than ragout.

When asked what’s going to happen with the kroket now the display is over, a man in a Van Dobben uniform answers: ‘I guess it’ll go in the recycling bin.’

But the crowd seems satisfied. Only one small group, out to give grease yet more of a chance, decides to head up the road to eat shrimp kroketten at Holtkamp on Vijzelstraat. Sometimes it’s just worth it paying the extra.

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Posted in Uncategorized 10 years ago at 12:45 pm.

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