Food historians argue over the origin of the stroopwafel, but all agree this classic Dutch cookie was most likely invented around 1840 in Gouda, a city one hour south of the capital that is also famous for its cheese.
Some say the cookies were made from leftover bakery crumbs dipped in syrup to give to poor children, but food historian Peter G. Rose, who researches early Dutch cooking and its influence on American culture, said the scheme was simple.
baker decided to put two wafers together to create a sandwich like cookie
and fill it with syrup. The cookie was an immediate success in Gouda, and versions spread from market to market until it became a staple of the Dutch diet.
"Although we are a small country, our food is very regional, and different towns often have their own cookie or baked good," Rose said. "But the stroopwafel is different, as it is popular all over Holland and everyone eats them."
When the Dutch immigrated to the Americas, they often took their waffle irons with them, and a version of the cookie made its way into the American kitchen.
Now, variants of the stroopwafel can be found all over the world, b
ut nothing compares, Rose said, to eating the cookie as the locals do: hot from the griddle or warmed by being placed atop a cup of coffee or tea.
"To eat stroopwafels is to taste the country," Rose said. "While our kitchen is not so renowned, our baked goods ought to be; we have the best baked goods everywhere. And watching them making it in front of you is part of the fun."
Lanskroon, a 110-year-old bakery on a quaint canal street, is touted as having some of Amsterdam's best stroopwafels. The secret to its famed recipe is that it bakes the wafers, said Maartje Braakman, 21, who has been working at the bakery for the past three years. They serve two types, honey and coffee caramel, and most patrons buy a cookie and warm it over their beverages.
In the heart of the city's shopping district, where a newer, hipper version of the stroopwafel was born. Van Wonderen Stroopwafels, which opened last year, adds a variety of toppings to the typical crispy cookie, dipping them in chocolate and sprinkling them with goodies such as marshmallows, raspberries, nuts and coconut.
Jars of add-ons create an enticing rainbow arrangement along the counter of the shop. The two 20-something shop workers talked about influencers and Instagram, and how half-Dutch model Gigi Hadid touted stroopwafels on Twitter.