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Lost Monday is a Flemish tradition held on the first Monday after the first Sunday following Three Wise Men Day (Epiphany, 6th of January).


This year there is a bit of a discussion. Some people claim that today is Lost Monday 'Verloren Maandag'.

However, as Three Wise Men Day 'Driekoningen' was yesterday, Lost Monday should be next week... to check it out I went to the bakery today and guess what?  There were plenty of sausage rolls and apple balls!

But why do Antwerp citizens eat sausage rolls and apple balls?

There are different explanations:

The first says the origins of this tradition can be traced back to 1730. On this Monday, the Monday following the 6th of January, new officials were sworn in and big celebrations followed. The city was supposed to pay for this festivities, so to keep costs down, they gave the citizens cheap sausage rolls.

Our favorite story refers to the port of Antwerp.
In the old days, it was the normal thing for the contractor to pay his labour in a dockside pub, much to the dismay of the docker’s wives.
On Three Wise Men Day many working people celebrated Epiphany in their local bar, with no remaining money the following Monday... The men foraged around the bars and butchers to ensure they had something cheap to eat. The butchers then made sausage bread which were quite cheap, yummy and filling and sold these to the dockers.

The name “Verloren Maandag” or “Lost Monday” comes from it being a “lost” day, because no one was working. It was, therefore, a lost day in terms of the people's salary.

Herewith you find the recipe for apple balls 'appelbollen'. It's pretty much an apple with puff pastry around it, baked in the oven. Very simple, but so delicious!
Ingredients for 4 apple balls :
4 apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 sheets of puff pastry
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 egg, whisked
powdered sugar

Grease a baking plate. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Peel and core the apple. Mix the sugar and the cinnamon. Roll the apples through the mixture.
Put the apple on a sheet of puff pastry. Fill the core with the sugar mixture. Put a second sheet on the apple and add them to each other.
Sweep some of the egg over the apple so it will be nice and golden. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Just before servingdust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

To taste the sausage rolls you should go for a drink in an Antwerp pub on Lost Monday, because you get “Gratis worstenbrood bij consumptie !”