The Best Stroopwafels: hot off the press with the Vergunst Family Recipe!
Just leaving Delft Market Square to head over to the Royal Delft Factory, I spied the Stroopwafels stand.
“Vanja! These are Ragan’s favourite Dutch treats! We have to stop here.” We were already cutting our arrival to our Delft Pottery Tour short, but stop we did.
Vanja picked out a fresh bag of Stroopwafels for Ragan, and I started to watch the fellow making them. I had no idea that these were served and eaten warm.
Of course, I had to have one. When in Delft….!
I was surprised to see four products. The size of Stroopwafel I am familiar with, then the giant size most people were buying one of for a snack, and the bin to the right at the end full of Stroopwafels torn bits. Not sure what they are used for, but they are sold by the bag. As well, what appeared to be a regular waffle.
On a hot tray, the recently made Stroopwafels were being kept warm, one by one, and each made by hand, I will add.
I looked up the name on the front of the stand and found that this is a family business since 1951 that uses a family recipe and makes them in the traditional style. Maico’s grandfather started the business in The Hague, his father, Tony joined and opened a bakery that automated the process to increase production. Maico Vergunst sells at fixed market places in the Netherlands where he makes them fresh waffles by hand in the traditional fashion and the stand is stocked with the factory made packages fresh from the day prior. Neither grandfather, nor father are in the business anymore. Maico and his brother both sell in varying markets on fixed days. Lucky us! We happened upon him in his day in Delft!
I can’t say he was too friendly, but then again, I didn’t introduce myself, either; however, it was clearly evident I was excited to see what he was doing, and the process and asked if I could take photos. Yes, I could, but he didn’t accommodate the process. It was business as usual, and I took them through glass which is always difficult due to reflection. All completely understandable if it was busy, but it was not busy at all. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, but upon reflection, it is such great customer service to accommodate those interested and with a camera when it is not busy. Who knows, they may like what you do so much, they will write about it and celebrate you and like to have better photos than these.
One at a time, dough was cut off a log of dough, then formed into a patty and placed into the waffle press for cooking.
In no time at all, it was out of the waffle iron and what did he do? He sliced it in half horizontally. That really surprised me. I had always thought the stroopwafel was two sandwiched together, yet it is not. It is one halved and then sandwiched together with a caramel syrup traditional consisting of syrup, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. I detected no cinnamon, but whatever was used in this family recipe was addictive and delicious.
I have learned that there is even an Association of Stroopwafel Addicts. Anyone can join. You just have to have eaten one Stroopwafel which everyone knows – whoever eats just one, is addicted for life.
After buying Ragan’s, and watching stroopwafels being made, I had to have one. I think I said that. But, I just had to. And, the experience was new and unexpected. It is like eating hot pizza and cold pizza. The difference is that great between a room temperature stroopwafel and a warmed one. Spectacular. I am an addict. I was not hungry. At all. But ate the entire cookie, savoring each sugary, crunchy salty sweet bit and bite as we walked to the car from the market.
Suddenly, a little sweet treat my crazy daughter was nuts over started to make so much more sense to me. Apparently, they are the size they are as they will fit perfectly on the rim of a coffee cup. Make your coffee. Set your stroopwafel over top your steamy cup cup for 30 seconds, and it will be warm and tingly all over, just like you after you take a bite.
Unforgettable experience. One little cookie. One little cookie can sometimes make all the difference to a place in time.