The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Apr 19, 2009

Deliciously Dutch

Ever since my organisation was taken over by les braves Belges, the quality of food in the kitchen has undergone a vast improvement - both in taste and in variety. A few days ago, for instance, one of my colleagues decided to celebrate his birthday with some Dutch treats, and brought in a fine selection of bakery. Before he could send out his invite to the rest of the floor, I had raided the larder and come away with sumptuous examples of stroopwafels, gevulde koeken, krakelingen, and some other biscuits whose name escape me.

Caramel filled syrup waffles, known for short as stroopwafels, date from the 18th century, and are possibly Holland's best known sweet treats. They are made from vanilla and cinnamon dough, filled with syrup, pressed and baked. Ostensibly made from secret recipes known only within families of stroopwafel chefs, these originated in the Gouda region of the Netherlands.

The gevulde koeken are almond-filled pastries made from butter-dough, with an egg-based glaze atop to give it a shiny effect. It's usually had with coffee or hot chocolate or tea, or wolfed down ravenously if you are like me and impatient. You can get oblong varieties of this delicacy, called rondos (or Amsterdammertje), in case you long for change but don't want to give up the essence of almond and butter.

Krakelingen are puff pastry cookies, famed for being chucked at revellers in the Flemish town of Geraardsbergen (where, soon after, the revels culminate in live fish immersed in wine being hastily consumed), but in other aspects are not quite so lively: they have flaky interiors and a glazed sweet top.

Are you envious/drooling/checking your cholesterol yet?


Dutchie said...

Hmm .. lekker :-)

I usually bring these with me as a treat to my family in Singapore. I do find them a tad too sweet for my taste.

My regular treats r slagroom taart, tompouzen, roombroodjes .. I also make olie bollen on a whim.
Oh dear, u really hv me going now n I'm in the middle of a diet :-(

Fëanor said...

Oh, I assure you, nothing can be too sweet. (Ooh, bring on all that sugar!)

If you can send in the histories of the various things you've mentioned, we can have a Double Dutch post!

Dutchie said...

Never thought much abt the histories, now that u mentioned it.

Well, slagroom taart is whipped cream cake (my late MIL served that every weekend until it was coming out of our ears !). Tompouce (singular word) is worth a look at Wikipedia. Roombroodjes r soft hotdog rolls filled with creamy custard lengthwise with a dusting of icing sugar. Olie bollen r traditional dutch raisins fritters served on new year's eve - u might hv heard of it since u were living here some years back ?

Fëanor said...

Thanks for that. I'll research them some time. (I haven't lived in Holland, though! Just the occasional visit there.)

Myrthe said...

I love stroopwafels! I found they are very popular with my Armenian colleagues as well, to the point where we were joking about setting up a stroopwafel-bakery in Armenia! :-)

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