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Amsterdam Guide

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Poffertjes

A container of poffertjes with butter and powdered sugar from the Noordermarkt in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

What: Even better than the large Dutch pannenkoeken are these fluffy mini pancakes, served with a mess of powdered sugar and butter. To make them, batter—typically including yeast and buckwheat flour—is poured over a hot cast-iron pan with shallow half-spherical molds, à la Japan’s takoyaki, and then each little pancake is flipped. You’ll see them in some restaurants, but the best poffertjes are made fresh on the street at markets, during festivals/fairs, and in the city’s squares.

Where: Once we smelled these at the Noordermarkt (Noorderkerkplein), a flea market in the Jordaan that turns into an organic farmers market (Boerenmarkt) on Saturdays, there was no holding us back. The stand selling them was signed simply Amsterdamse Poffertjes; the same vendor sets up at the Albert Cuypmarkt some days too.

When: Saturdays, approx. 9am-4pm at Noordermarkt; Mon, Tues, Thurs at Albert Cuypmarkt (approx. 9am-6pm)

Order: An order of poffertjes—you can get 10 (€2), 20 (€4), or 30 (€5)—comes to you uber-fresh here, with a heavy shake of powdered sugar (watch out for black clothes!) and a generous knob of butter, which starts to melt upon contact with the hot treats. (Nutella and other toppings are also available for a fee, but we think: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.) Moist and chewy inside, crispy outside, they’re downright addictive.

Alternatively: Poffertjes are most common during the cooler months, so if you can’t find an outdoor vendor, you’ll have to resort to what’s second-best: a restaurant. You’ll find these at most pannenkoeken restaurants, including Pancakes! Amsterdam (Berenstraat 38, map)—but it’s the difference between good and great when compared with the fresh street version.

 


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