Stroopwafels, one of the most iconic symbols of Dutch heritage. Originating in the late 18th century in the city of Gouda, famously known for its cheese, the stroopwafel was actually born out of frugality. As the story goes, the stroopwafel was initially crafted from the leftover crumbs and scraps of bread. The crumbs rolled into a waffle-like dough, aiming to waste nothing, and sweetened with a layer of spiced syrup – ‘stroop’ in Dutch – between two layers.
An often bought souvenir, savored by many visitors and locals. The typical treat is nowadays a worldwide hit and is now often imitated, replicated, or worse, reinvented. We’ve seen anything from chocolate-dipped and marshmallow topped examples to other bizarre flavor variations. At The Dylan, we’d like to stick to the original and surprise our guests with the best in town: those of Lanskroon bakery. We had a chat with Mark Dunselman, fourth generation stroopwafel-maker.
Hello Mark, where are we right now?
We’re at Lanskroon, a bakery founded by an Austrian/German family about a hundred years ago. The origins of our produce are still visible until today, judging from the products that we offer. In the 1980s, my parents took over Lanskroon, keeping much of the old assortment while also introducing new items like our crispy whole-grain cookie, poppy seed cookies, and granola.
Our family has been involved in the pastry craft for over 100 years, and I’m the 4th generation. It all started with my great-grandfather’s bakery on Schippersgracht in Amsterdam, then various other locations around the city. These were all traditional pastry shops, which rapidly disappeared in the 70s as families moved out of Amsterdam. Luckily, my parents were able to take over the beautiful Lanskroon shop in the city center.
Where does Lanskroon Stand for?
Lanskroon symbolizes authentic, handmade products of excellent quality and delicious Italian coffee. It’s an embodiment of Amsterdam’s craftsmanship, and we have always strived to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to grow in the pastry profession. This unique approach, along with products found nowhere else, distinguish Lanskroon. Even amid increasing tourism, local Amsterdammers still feel at home at Lanskroon.
What does the bakery mean to you?
From the beginning, I found Lanskroon enchanting. Such a delightful little place with amazing products, which I had never tasted before. During my law studies, I helped my parents at Lanskroon on weekends and grew passionate about the craft. After some detours, I returned to Lanskroon and took over in 2019 when my sister wanted to pursue her dreams in Portugal. I desired to keep the business in the family, preserving this hidden gem in Amsterdam and passing it on to the next generation, even if not bearing the Dunselman name.
And what is your fondest memory about the bakery?
Without a doubt, it was Lanskroon’s Japan trip. We had come into contact with a government delegation from Saga, Japan. That year, they were celebrating the old ties between the Netherlands and Japan. We made our bakery available to their Japanese bakers to create their specialty for the Japan festival in Amstelveen. As a token of appreciation, and as they were very impressed with our honey waffles and apple cinnamon tart, they made us an offer. We were invited to come to Japan for a week with a Lanskroon delegation, provided we gave several workshops on ‘honey waffle/apple tart’ during Holland week later that year. We didn’t have to think twice, and so it happened. It was a perfectly organized week, where we gave workshops to interested parties, students of the pastry school, and professionals. It was a challenge to find the right ingredients there, but eventually, it was more than successful. We were driven around like ‘celebs’ in a week orchestrated from A to Z and were very impressed by the hospitality and the entirely different world from what we were used to here in Amsterdam.
And what it the secret of Lanskroon’s success, according to you?
The success of Lanskroon lies in its honest and unique products, the relaxed atmosphere, and the delightful people working there. We love our products and craft them with love.
Now tell us all about your signature, the Lanskroon Stroopwafel.
What’s special is that it’s a crispy waffle, filled with honey syrup. The recipe comes from the Austrian/German family who started it all. The difference with the traditional stroopwafel is that ours is not made with a waffle iron. We roll the dough out very thin with a machine and then even thinner by hand. Next, slices are cut out, which are left to dry overnight before being baked the next morning, which actually is our secret to make them so crispy! The syrup consists of sugar, butter, cream, and of course, honey. Besides the honey waffle, which perfectly complements a cup of tea, the “hopjeswafel” was conceived to be served with coffee. In this variant, a double espresso is added to the syrup. There’s also the fig waffle with dried figs and raisins. It’s quite delicious too!
Lanskroon is opened daily until 5PM, and 5.30PM in weekends.