In the Hudson Valley (which includes the Catskill Mountains) in New York State, USA, a doughnut is sometimes called an olicook, which derives from the Dutch Oliekoeke or 'oil cake' (sometimes also called olykoecks). The Dutch themselves refer to doughnuts as oliebollen (oily balls). Source
"....most historians begin discussions about doughnut history with the mid-19th century and the first recorded doughnut recipes. At this time doughnuts were known as olykoeks, or oily cakes, and it's primarily the Dutch who are credited with taking sweet dough balls and frying them in pork fat." Mr. Breakfast
According to this source, the best doughnout balls or lardy cakes are fried in lard. That's why they are called smoutebollen in Belgium and in The Netherlands, where they use frying oil, oliebollen.
my family, the festivity of choice was New Year's Eve, and the food
that went with it was oliebollen. These humble, knobby little cakes,
deep fried until golden, then tossed with sugar, epitomize the spendthrift
nature of holiday fare: they require ingredients that must have taken
my Dutch peasant ancestors a year to save for. And like other holiday
dishes, oliebollen are complicated and sensitive to skill, so that
the maker really does appear to be weaving a spell for the year to
Oliebollen are traditionally served on New Year's Eve and often have raisins incorporated into the dough.
It's interesting to note that the South African Vetkoek has a very similar spelling to Oliekoeke.
Oliebollen can be made with OSO-ONO Fried Dessert Dough.
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