One of the most iconic Dutch products is his majesty the Stroopwafel. This fantastic sweet treat is a double waffle pastry with caramel in between. Its literal translation would simply be “syrup waffle”.
The story goes something like this: “In an old Dutch town called Gouda, already famous for its incredible cheese, sometime in the 18th century a baker was trying to make use of the leftover breadcrumbs. The pastry made out of batter crumbled in his hands so he used the caramel to stick it together, and just like that the stroopwafel was born.”
The first known recipe for the “armenkoeken” or the "poor folks' cookies", dates from the 1840 and by the end of the 19th century there were 100 bakeries in Gouda making the syrup goodness. With the introduction of the industrial revolution the first now renamed “stroopwafel” factories were opened and the word about the fantastic cookie spread across the globe making it one of the most recognizable symbols of the Netherlands.
Foto: Gouda. The town where stroopwafel was born.
If you have ever wondered how the stroopwafel is made, wonder no more because the anatomy of this delicacy is no secret. The dough is prepared out of flour, yeast, sugar, butter and eggs. You just mix all that together and leave it to rest while making a delicious caramel. For the filling brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and treacle are melted to perfection and at that point it remains to put the dough on the waffle iron, cook it until its brown, slice the cookie in half while it’s hot and fill it with the hot melted syrup.
How to treat it and eat it
The proper way to eat a stroopwafel is to put it on a hot cup of tea or coffee and just leave it until it becomes soft on one side and still crunchy on the other. If you don’t have time to prepare hot beverages put it in a microwave for 10 seconds or just eat it as it is, strait from the beg, you won’t regret it.
If you want to try a freshly made waffle, visit the local markets in Amsterdam like Albert Cuyp - or Ten Kate market and watch the magic happen. There are also bakeries that make lots of different varieties of the traditional recipe, just walk through the city center and follow your nose or prepare your visit to a Lanskroon bakery.
Disclaimer: No stroopwafles were harmed during making of this article, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attack one or two or ten of them.