If you say “Hopje” or “Hopjes” in plural, a Dutchman will associate it with The Hague immediately. Foreigners may associate it with a typical Dutch candy.
As the Dutch words “Haags” or “Haagsch” and “Haagse” or “Haagsche” mean “something or someone from The Hague”, a Haagsch Hopje is a coffy candy from the Hague.
Wikipedia has an English Language and a Dutch language lemma on Hopje. Former links with The Hague Daily Photo Blog, a blog sadly discontinued by its author Lezard, but still worth while a visit. I took the second photo from it.
Hopje’s History is also Typically Haags
It is named after baron Hendrik Hop who used to live in The Hague. His doctor advised him not to drink coffee, but he craved coffee like many of us. According to some sources it happened entirely by accident as Hop left a mixture of coffee and sugar simmer too long on his stove so that a heavily caramelized substance was left in the cup. He asked baker Theodorus van Haaren, who lived on the ground floor, to create coffee lumps that he could dissolve in water as a coffee alike drink. After some experimenting, van Haaren created a sweet made of coffee, caramel, cream and butter.
Where else than in The Hague could a Baron cause the invention of a candy?
Noteworthy is the hopje became so popular as a candy that there were many brands, each claiming being the producer of the original hopje. Rademaker’s is one of the brands that still survive, but Haagsche Hopjes are being made in Breda nowadays.
The Hague used to have a Museum dedicated to its Hopje, but that has been closed since 1998.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit one of the Hague’s best kept secrets: Haagsche Suites, a hotel owned by Guido van den Elshout (@HappyHotelier). Behind the facade of a townhouse situated between the city center of The Hague and the beach resort Scheveningen, he and his wife Irene run a small but very luxurious hotel with three large suites. The interior is just fingerlicking gorgeous, and a beautiful garden tops it off.
The purpose of my visit was not a stay however, but a meetup with the bloggers of Absolutely The Hague and Hofstijl. A diverse group of people who share two interest: their passion for the city of The Hague, and their believe in Social Media and sharing stuff. Absolutely The Hague aims at English speaking people, be it expats, tourists or people taking interest in The Hague. The Hofstijl blog – on the other hand – is written in Dutch and takes a somewhat non-conventional view of our city with beautiful stories, photos and videos. The goal of this first meeting was to share experiences and see if we could collaborate in certain areas.
It was a nice meeting, and sure hope this will be the start of a fruitful collaboration. Thanks, Maurits Burgers (@MauritsJF), Melinda Roos (@MelindaRoos), Suzy Ogé (@suzyoge), Lisa Rouissi (@koffiekitten), Marco Raaphorst (@Raaphorst), Karin Ramaker (@metkcom), Ellie Brik (@EllieBrik), Niek ‘t Hart (@interniek), and of course, Guido van den Elshout (@HappyHotelier).
I’ve created Absolutely The Hague | Posterous, because I’ve had already received several positive responses via Twitter. One typical reactions is: “I would like to help you out guys and girls, but I’m not sure I’ve got the time to do so”. For instance by Soenarko who is a typical Posterous blogger.
I’ve been experimenting a bit with Posterous the last year and it is even easier to post something on Posterous than in a WordPress based blog.
Therefor I’m hoping we can tag it along this blog and Absolutely The Hague | Posterous and find a way of having a supporting community that sends stuff to the Posterous account so that we get ideas here to work out. We will see what happens.
As tweets seem to disappear I wanted to keep this for posterity.
Got a hint from Madbello (@Madbello) on how to import a Tweetstatus into a blog, but it doesn’t work on this platform. Anyway, here is the link on media.twitter.com: Blackbird-Pie.