by Sint Maarten location manager and senior tour guide, Ankie Nieuwenhoven
Many of us have a sweet tooth and that is why the Persians invented the “cookie” in the 7th Century. Fast Forward to the 1700s in New Amsterdam, or what we now call New York City when the large Dutch population perfected the “Speculaas.”
Speculaas, or Windmill cookies as they are known in the Netherlands, were originally invented by the Belgians. However, since Belgium and Holland border each other, the credit has slowly tipped in honor of the Dutch. The Dutch earned the credit by way of the West India Company (also known as the VOC), which was a highly influential aspect of the ancient Spice Trade. Part of the spice trade included the movement of pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger which were used to spice up the taste of food and in the manufacturing of natural medicines.
Spekulaas FUN FACT: Only Spekulaas with ‘echte boter’ and baked by a ‘Bakker’ are the real deal!
The Dutch culinary folklore states that the 1st Stroopwafels were made in the 1800’s in Gouda. Bakers used their scraps and crumbs by sweetening them with syrup and the Stroopwafel was born.
FUN FACT: Stroopwafels combined with Old Amsterdam Cheese is a golden combination and a party piece for sure