I actually don’t remember the very first stroopwafel I bit into, but sometimes I wish I did, just so that I could experience that first taste all over again. It’s just that good. Stroopwafels are a delicacy that is traditionally Dutch – a thin waffle filled with decadent, gooey caramel Stroop. In the Netherlands, they’re considered a classic treat and are often paired with a hot cup of tea or coffee during lunchtime for the ultimate experience. Here you also learn more about the best stroopwafels amsterdam.
Their beginnings may have been humble, but today stroopwafels are internationally famous. The Stroopwafel McFlurry was added to the McDonald’s menu in 2019 and United Airlines routinely hand them out as snacks to traveling passengers. They’re so good that it’s estimated that the average Dutch person eats about 30 stroopwafels each year. But how did these delicious wafers even come to exist, and how did they become such a staple in the Netherlands and worldwide?
A Brief History of the Stroopwafel
Aside from windmills and interesting fashion choices, stroopwafels have been a part of Dutch history for centuries. The first stroopwafel was created purely by mishap. In the late 18th century somewhere in Gouda, a humble baker had too many scraps left over and no idea what to do with them. He tried to stick them together to no avail; his creations all crumbled.
It was then that a lightbulb moment struck – the answer was in the stroop! By sticking the scraps together with sticky caramel stroop, this humble baker made history: the very first stroopwafel was born. Over time these scrap-stroopwafels would take the shape and form that we know today as special waffle irons were designed to manufacture them.
It wasn’t long before other bakers in town took notice and started doing the same thing. Although stroopwafels weren’t known outside of Gouda at that time, by 1870 there were over 100 stroopwafel bakeries in Gouda. This tasty treat was cheap to make, so it was often called the “poor man’s cookie”. Even so, it was something that was enjoyed by all the classes alike.
Stroopwafels were brought to parties and church events as gifts. Slowly but surely the news spread, and people in neighboring provinces also got a taste of the gooey deliciousness.
Hermanus Daelmans was one of these people. He opened his family bakery in 1904 in Vlijmen, North Brabandt. His motto was, “when you indulge, do it right”. His traditional recipe was loved by many, and he brought lots of smiles to the people who enjoyed his stroopwafels.
Daelmans can be credited with bringing stroopwafels to the forefront as we know them in this day and age. Over the course of a hundred years, Daelmans stroopwafels were sold nationally before being introduced abroad where they were equally loved.
Remember the Stroopwafel McFlurry and the snacks at United Airlines? They’re Daelmans. Thanks to them, stroopwafels took the world by storm.Even today, their recipe has remained largely the same as it was a hundred years ago. Daelmans Stroopwafels doesn’t use any artificial flavors or colors and their stroopwafels are fully vegetarian. When you take that first crunchy bite of a Daelmans stroopwafel, you’re tasting years of authentic Dutch tradition.
Although many people tend to just open a pack of stroopwafels and eat them immediately (admittedly the urge is hard to resist), there’s actually a whole ritual for consuming them, one that goes back to the early twentieth century.
Daelmans calls this ritual “waking the waffle,” and it was considered the perfect snack after hours of grueling work out in the cold and rain. Workers would take a break during lunchtime to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a stroopwafel, and before taking a single bite or sip they would let the stroopwafel rest on top of the cup for about two minutes.
You see, there’s a delicious reaction that occurs when a stroopwafel is placed on top of a cup of hot liquid. For one, the beverage stays hot for a longer time.
But the main reason why this had become a ritual is that the rising steam would warm the stroopwafel, melting the caramel stroop inside and leading to a mouth-watering bite that is both soft and crunchy, sweet and savory. It’s the perfect antidote to a rainy day or an afternoon of hard work.
ready to take a bite of Best Stroopwafels In Amsterdam?
Aside from being a popular street food in the Netherlands, stroopwafels are known in almost every place in the world. In Australia they’re often called “coffee toppers” and in Morocco they’re “Amsterdam Delights”.
If you’re in Amsterdam this winter and you’re unsure of what to do, grabbing a fresh stroopwafel is always a good idea. You can find them at virtually any market in the country.
If you’re not in the Netherlands, but you are still craving some of that gooey caramel goodness, you don’t have to wait for your Dutch friends to come visit! On Daelmans’ website, you can actually order stroopwafels from anywhere in the world, delivered right to your doorstep because they have worldwide shipping! Daelmans is giving our whole community a 15% discount on their Gifting assortment by using the discount code: “aboutnl15“
Stroopwafels may seem simple but they sure do have a whole lot of history. Next time you’re out for a coffee with a friend and you get a stroopwafel as a snack, definitely don’t forget about the ritual. I know I won’t pass it up!