The Humble Stroopwafel Posted by heather on May 14, 2011 in Culture
At first glance, there is nothing that spectacular about a stroopwafel. It’s thin, it’s round and it’s brown. But hidden behind that waffle grid exterior is a gooey, sweet, caramelness that challenges even the best home cooked meal from your childhood.
Stroopwafels are a waffle made from two thin layers of baked batter with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. The batter for the waffles is made from flour, butter, brown sugar, yeast, milk, and eggs and is then shaped into balls and cooked on a waffle iron. Once the waffle is baked, and while it is still warm, it is cut into two halves. A warm filling, made from syrup, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, is spread in-between the waffle halves, gluing them together.
According to Wikipedia, “the stroopwafel originates from Gouda in the Netherlands. It was first made during the late 18th century or early 19th century by a baker using leftovers from the bakery, such as breadcrumbs, which were sweetened with syrup. One story ascribes the invention of the stroopwafel to the baker Gerard Kamphuisen, which would date the first stroopwafels somewhere between 1810, the year when he opened his bakery, and 1840, the year of the oldest known recipe for syrup waffles. In the 19th century, there were around 100 syrup waffle bakers in Gouda, which was the only city in which they were made until 1870. After 1870 they were also made at parties and in markets outside the city of Gouda. In the 20th century, factories started to make stroopwafels. In 1960 there were 17 factories in Gouda alone.”
Stroopwafels are pretty wonderful. When I used to work in Amsterdam they were in one of the vending machines outside the office. We would often have people from the States over to work on projects and they would buy one, wondering what it was. From that moment on you would find that they had cleared out the machine and were living basically on a stroopwafel diet with regular announcements of “wow, these are really great.”
Just before it is eaten, the stroopwafel is often placed on top of a cup of hot drink (e.g. tea or coffee) in order to soften it up. The filling then melts making the stroopwafel extra delicious. This is a (messier) way to become addicted quicker.
Have you had a stroopwafel? What did you think of it? Does it rank in your top five of Dutch foods (if not, what does)?
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