These very intense-looking gentlemen are local experts in making that Dutch treat, poffertjes. And from the looks of it, they seem to take their work very seriously. It’s either that or they’re both feeling constipated.
I suppose their demeanor wasn’t all that surprising since we were in Laren, a town where Ferraris and Porsches battle for parking space, and so far the wealthiest-looking part of the Netherlands I’d been to. Reminded me of Georgetown in DC.
After our boating excursion in Kortenhoef, our Laren hosts brought us to the Cornelis de Haan Poffertjeskraam (pancakes stall) to sample their version of the famous mini-pancakes. We somehow made an entrance because in a sea of white, it looked like we were the only brown people in town, and were just a bit too animated vis-a-vis the local population.
Not too long after we sat down and ordered, out came the local masterpieces slathered in butter and powdered sugar.
Sad to say, a couple of us ordered the Grand Marnier version and couldn’t eat it at all. The pancakes were literally swimming in alcohol and the subtlety was lost altogether. If I had a drinking problem it would have been perfect. I did get to try one piece of the classic, unadulterated version and it did taste very good.
At the back of my mind I figured the poffertjes couldn’t possibly be too difficult nor complicated to do and was wondering why it was so special, but that became clearer after seeing the kiosk itself. The stall was the attraction and festive enough it could very well fit in a classic carnival. It seems they’ve been in business, unbelievably, since 1837, and strangely only for a few months during the middle part of the year. For the rest of the time, the entire operation’s in storage, leaving a footprint in the middle of the square. The rich poffertjes, backed up by its equally rich history, sat perfectly in the Ferrari-filled streets of Laren.