Mystery Solved

The last few weeks I have, with the help of my parents, finally cracked a puzzle which has long troubled me – if cycling is so good for you and everything, and the Dutch cycle so much, why don’t they live for ever? After all, every hour of cycling you do effectively adds an extra hour onto your life* – and yet the Dutch, despite doing everything from walking their dogs to moving house on bicycles, have only managed to extend their life expectancy by a measly six months.

And then my mum asked if we wanted to take the couple of packets of stroopwafel that their Dutch visitors had brought home with them and I discovered that they’re about as addictive as crack cocaine, but with more calories, and probably fewer nutritional virtues. And apparently the Dutch on average eat 20 of them a year, which combined with cheese for breakfast and a popular post-school snack of bread sprinkled with sugar (middle-class families make sure it’s brown bread) probably does a lot to undo the good work of all that cycling.

stroopwafel

Kids – just say no

I’m not about to start eating gouda for breakfast but it’s got to the point where a cup of coffee without a nice sugary lid balanced on the top, going steadily gooier and meltier as the steam softens the syrup within (and all without rendering the last mouthful revolting with a slurry of crumbs as happens with dunked biscuits) is a cup of coffee wasted.

Fortunately, we have almost finished the second packet and that will have to be it because I’m not sure that even if were to fetch them individually, from the Netherlands, by bicycle, would I have cycled far enough to undo all the damage…

* Which is why this chap is effectively immortal

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8 Responses to Mystery Solved

  1. Don’t forget buttered bread with hundreds ‘n’ thousands on it for breakfast.

  2. bob says:

    I *love* stropwaffels. AND, at the market where we lived in Delden (Overijssel) they would make huge ones for you right there on the spot.
    We can get them here in Canada, or at least locally at a place called “Denninger’s Foods of the World” (mostly German it turns out) and even though they’re reasonably fresh, it’s not quite the same. Haven’t had one since we moved away from the Netherlands..:(

  3. meltdblog says:

    Try the Roomboter Stroopwafels (butter syrup waffles), 20% fat, 40% sugar and 100% delicious snack similar in density and nutrition to a chocolate bar so excellent as a snack on the bicycle.

    Also of note from that region is their Peperkoek (spicy ginger cake) which is served in thick slices with liberal amounts of butter spread across it.

  4. disgruntled says:

    you are none of you helping

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think you can buy them in Starbucks in the UK now.

  6. Charles says:

    For serious damage but not the delicacy try a koeksister, an Afrikaner delight which is deep fried dough bathed in sugar syrup or the humble vetkoek deep fried dough with either a savoury or meat filling. This is a culture that counts jam as two of your five a day and syrup as one. I really hate iPad auto correct, try spelling Afrikaner cuisine and vetkoek comes out as vetoed, which it probably should be on elf and safety grounds, let alone good taste…

  7. disgruntled says:

    @Rachel – nope
    @charles – oh yes, we came across fatcakes (as they called them) in Swaziland. To be honest, they’re not that tempting even to me

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