If there is anything you should taste before the next ominous announcement of the world coming to an end, it should be the stroopwafel.
A foodie soulmate once smuggled these Dutch syrup waffles all the way across the Atlantic for me. They looked nothing more inspiring than mundane wafer biscuits wrapped unceremoniously in plastic. The round biscuits bore a chequered pattern that testified to their allegiance with the waffle family, but the stroopwafels were far scrawnier than their chunky counterparts from Belgium or their crusty compadres from the US.
I slid a lone stroopwafel into the microwave – cold waffles are a capital crime – only to find the waffle curving inward as though it were melting down the centre. The mystery was solved the instant I broke apart the hot, toasty waffle. Thick threads of caramel oozed out from the two halves, dangling devilishly in a gooey suspended arch. I gazed, love-struck at the sweet sensuous strings, went weak at the knees – and the rest is buttery caramel history.
Fortunately, Dubai offers at least two ways by which you can nip a stroopwafel craving in its sticky bud. A quaint cafe in Dubai Investment Park, Vinkers Waffles (04 885 0944), slides fresh waffles out of its waffle iron every day, deftly slicing each one open, slathering the insides with scorching-hot caramel, and then sandwiching them back up again. Selected petrol stations also stock imported stroopwafels that, in a rare feat of camping ingenuity, I had barbecued to great success over a desert camp fire. The caramel innards melted eagerly into warm, molten lava, an act that surely must have made me the grilling goddess of the night.
Even if the world is not ending anytime soon, don’t waffle about the obvious. With sources now close at hand in Dubai, one doesn’t need an earth-shattering reason to have a lifetime chock-full of chewy, gooey stroopwafels.
Arva Ahmed blogs about hidden food gems in Old Dubai at www.iliveinafryingpan.com