I absolutely adore the Netherlands. From picturesque canals, to huge bike lanes, to amazing art, to beautiful tulips, there's very little bad that I can say about the country. When I lived in Amsterdam for six months there was one food that really stood out to me as something completely different from anything I had ever tried in the US: the stroopwafel. When I close my eyes I can still picture the exact bike route from my home to the street market that sold the best warm stroopwafel in the city. 

What Are These Amazing Treats?

Emma Glubiak

True to their name, stroopwafels do feature waffles. The dessert is made up of two very thin, crispy waffles with a layer of warm caramel syrup in between. If you buy them at the grocery store, the caramel won't be warm, but it's still a delicious snack.

Fresh stroopwafels are the perfect balance of crunchy, buttery waffles and sweet, warm caramel. They are incredibly messy and the caramel will mostly likely drip everywhere, so have napkins handy.

#SpoonTip: If you're buying stroopwafel from a market, they will likely dip it in chocolate for you if you ask. It just costs a euro or so more.

Where Do Stroopwafels Come From?

The stroopwafel was invented in Gouda, in the Netherlands sometime in the early 19th century when a baker wanted to find a way to use his leftovers. This isn't the only food Gouda is famous for, it's best known for the cheese that it shares its name with.

Around the time that stroopwafels were invented, a specific way of eating them was also developed. A stroopwafel is meant to fit perfectly on top of a steaming mug of coffee or tea. You should leave it there for about two minutes to soften it up before you enjoy it with your afternoon coffee. The Dutch love their coffee (the Amsterdam Coffee Festival is one of the biggest in the world) so it makes sense that their traditional way of eating stroopwafel is so connected with their daily cup of joe.

Where to Find Stroopwafels in the US

Luckily, the stroopwafel has risen in popularity over the past few years, so it's relatively easy to find in the US. The most common brand you can find in the US is Daelmans. They sell to huge retailers like Target. Trader Joe's also sells stroopwafels that come in a cute little tin and are perfect for entertaining guests.

You can also find stroopwafels at Dutch bakeries in your city or from smaller brands. For example, this Spoon writer started his own stroopwafel business.

I predict that stroopwafels will grow in popularity even more over the next few years until they're a well known treat all over the world. For now, if you can't make it across the Atlantic supermarket brands will do, but just know that nothing compares to biting into a fresh stroopwafel while standing among canal houses and bikers. As the Dutch say, stroopwafels are "lekker!"