If you find yourself in Alkhobar and longing to take a bite that will transport you to Amsterdam without a seven-hour flight, look no further than Stroopers on Salaheddin Al-Ayoubi Street in Al-Rawabi.
Focusing on only one item, the stroopwafel, the two-story business opened its first outlet in the Kingdom just a few months ago.
This snack, which originated in South Holland, has become one of the best-known Dutch treats across the Netherlands and, more recently, has become an instant favorite at numerous Alkhobar grocery stores, which have sold the imported boxed version.
But Stroopers is the first outlet of its kind in the Kingdom to create fresh stroopwafels right in front of you.
Translated as “syrup waffle,” the product is traditionally made from a stiff dough pressed into a hot waffle iron to form a uniform hashtag pattern until crisp. It is then slathered in thick, sticky caramel sauce and quickly covered with another thin wafer, making a sandwich.
According to Dutch culinary folklore, stroopwafels were first created in the late 18th or early 19th century by bakers hoping to repurpose scraps of dough by sweetening them with syrup.
Stroopers also serves hot and cold coffees. In Holland, a stroopwafel would usually be consumed by placing the wafer atop a hot beverage to allow the steam to warm up the cookie and soften the syrup to create a decadent treat.
For the scorching Alkhobar summer weather, an iced coffee is a welcome addition to the menu.
A current favorite flavor is ruby chocolate stroopwafels, which are half-dipped in a sauce made from naturally pink cocoa beans, making them fit the “Barbie” pink trend.
We tried the best-selling stroopwafel pretzel, which is half-dipped in chocolate, with bits of pretzel added. It was the perfect alliance of salty, sweet, chewy, and crispy all at once.
There are even funky regional favorite flavors like za’atar, in addition to candy-coated ones.
Medium sizes are sold for SR18 ($4) and large for SR29. You can even design your own, which start at SR28 for the small size and SR39 for the larger version. For those wanting to share, a box of half a dozen small, hand-dipped and topped stroopwafels will cost SR96.
The shop is open from 4 p.m. until midnight, except on Friday and Saturday when it is open until 1 a.m.