The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Chocolate Hunting in Connecticut with a Side of Stroopwafels

You know how we live in this huge country (well, besides those of you who don’t) that has a bunch of states all smooshed up next to one another (50 the last time I checked, although there are those pesky two that are way out there…gallivanting) and there are just so many states that you don’t know where they all are (you don’t even remember the names of all of them), but you at least know where NY/NJ (because you live there) and you’re not very familiar with New England because anything north of NY (hell, anything north of NYC) is scary and far and cold and possibly infested with something that is largely contained within New England, like…American History, or something else that tortured you during high school?


When fellow Disneyland devotee Charlie invited me up to South Norwalk to go chocolate hunting with him and his foodie friend Lydia at Chocopologie last Saturday, my first thought was, “Yeah, Charlie and chocolate, SWEEET!” before realizing that I didn’t know where South Norwalk was. A quick search on Google and at the Metro-North website told me that it was in Connecticut. What in the…I didn’t even know how far CT was, and I doubt I had ever been there before (although I may have driven through it). Charlie was somewhat appalled when he found out I had never ventured to CT. Hey, if I had friends who lived there and knew that it contained chocolate eating possibilities, maybe I would’ve been there by now. Before I just thought of it as, “Hey, that’s a state I heard a bunch of people live in.”

So it turns out South Norwalk is only an hour away by train, which would explain why it’s worth it for some people commute from there to NYC. For about $20 (round-trip off-peak) I had the pleasure of sliding my bum on nearly friction-less seats for 60 shaky minutes (Metro-North trains aren’t very smooth).

one direction only

I was amused to see that history only existed to the left of this sign, which made me more curious to see what would happen if I foolishly wandered right-ward in my quest for anti-history.

store front

Sadly I wouldn’t get to defy the sign. Lydia and Charlie soon applied blunt force to my head and shoved me into picked me up in a red rental car and whisked me away to Fritz Knipschildt’s little chocolate factory. …Which was about a 2 minute drive away. (You could easily walk there from the train station.)

front room

The front room of the café where they display their chocolates and desserts is homey, spacious and fills with natural lighting (you know…if it’s sunny). However, since all the tables were taken up we moseyed on to the back.

eating area people!
All that lies between you and a shizzload of chocolate is a weeny bit-o glass

The coolest part about the café/chocolate shop is its chocolate gallery, a long hall with seats that look into the kitchen through seven barn-style windows. I wonder how long it takes for the workers get used to people just staring at them, maybe drooling a bit, even if the workers are simply poking at a vat of chocolate (which is what we saw for a long time) or putting some equipment away. Hey, it’s all magical to us non-chocolate makers. Vats of chocolate really get us going. Sadly.

chocopologie drink
signature chocopologie drink

Lydia and Charlie each ordered the Chocopologie, composed of espresso, dark chocolate, and lavender foam. I probably could’ve asked for a non-espresso Chocopologie, but instead I opted out and watched them savor their cups of flowery, extra caffeinated chocolate liquid. After taking a sip Charlie emitted a noise that resembled the low, appreciative growl of a happy dog. Or something. Actually, it was just the sound of a happy Charlie, which is hard to categorize.

chocolate milkshake
chocolate milkshake

I went with a less sophisticated (just like me!) chocolate milkshake, which was sadly lacking in the “shake” part. By that I mean it could’ve used at least two more scoops of ice cream. Or three. I guess it’s just my preference that milkshakes should be thick as wet concrete, but if it’s not laden with ice cream isn’t it otherwise like slightly foamy flavored milk? And what is the fun in that?

…Correct, it is DEVOID OF FUN! More ice cream gives it more life! It might shorten your life a bit, but I think it’s worth it. Not like you wanna live until you’re 80, right? We’re never gonna get those damn flying cars anyway. (On that note, check out the excellent blog Paleo-Future, “A look into the future that never was.” The more that time goes by, the more we disappoint the innovative visions of the past!!!)

While we waited for our main dishes to come out, Charlie started to tell us a funny story about a drink gone horribly wrong (or undeniably right, depending on whose opinion you get). I broke out my pocket recorder to bring you this story of questionable culinary creativity, mostly transcripted word for word besides extraneous “likes”, the stuff that didn’t make much grammatical sense, and anything else that I deemed unimportant:

I swear this will make sense…
Charlie: So I had this craving for rainbow sherbet. A week or so ago we made orancello, which is like limoncello, like the Italian liqueur. Basically you can make it just by soaking citrus zest or citrus peel in grain alcohol for a week and mixing it with sugar syrup. The testing phrase was [makes a “blech” sound]. It tasted like you were drinking rubbing alcohol. So we decide to make these drinks, which was like a bit of orancello with seltzer water, and I was like, “I’m gonna make it a float,” so I scooped some rainbow sherbet. It actually works! It tasted really good, but it looks like insane, it looks like the drink that an angry clown would drink.

Lydia: An alcoholic clown would drink.

Charlie: It’s like all rainbow colored and like…

Lydia: It’s sort of like violently rainbow colored; the raspberry looks like nuclear raspberry.

Charlie: It was insane, but it was really good, and then I had like three and then I was a mess.


Charlie: They were so delicious!

[See, the picture did make sense. Kind of.]

Okay, back to talking about the stuff that went in my belly.

Glorious sammich!

Thankfully my sandwich was 100% un-devoid of awesomeness! Fresh mozzarella, avocado, tomato, red pepper spread, and grilled Portobello were smooshed between crusty halves of pain rustique and branded with grill marks. Everything tasted…wonderful. And by wonderful I mean warm, soft and fatty. I love the combination of crunchy bread with soft gooey innards.

brunch food! PLORP
poached eggs

Lydia’s poached eggs—with corn bread and sweet corn relish—oozed with the bright yellow life source for their unrealized chicken embryo counterparts. Mmmm. The sweet corn bread went really nicely with the egg; I don’t think I’ve seen that combination before. At least, not with the egg plopped on top of the cornbread.

burger Charlie's burger

Charlie was happy with his rare cheeseburger. From the photo I’d say it looks pretty good—pink, moist without being overly juicy, topped with fresh looking vegetation. The fries were less awe-inspiring, meaning that Charlie didn’t eat all of them, meaning that I picked up the slack, wee!!! The fries actually reminded me of Calbee Potato Sticks, which was possibly my favorite potato snack as a kid, as they were intensely deliciousified with the flavors of salt and MSG. I once ate an entire bag in one afternoon, sometime before I was 10 years old and my stomach was—I’m guessing—smaller than it is now. The subsequent dehydration of my mouth’s inner lining from being attacked by sodium and god knows what else is a fond childhood memory for me.

God, I could really go for a bag now. Okay, I am so going to a Japanese supermarket next chance that I get.

makin' stuff! sprinkle on the cocoa powder first batch
the birth of chocs!

We only got to witness chocolates in the making at the end of our meal. Balls of ganache were rolled under a chocolate waterfall a few at a time, taken off the belt and then dusted with cocoa powder. Oh how we wanted them. Breaking through the glass probably would’ve gotten us kicked out though.

You may have noticed that we didn’t actually eat any…chocolate. We decided to take a stroll and burn off a calorie or two (although it was probably only a calorie) and then return to the café to buy some chocs.

best sign ever
Behold, the wonders of the Dutch!

A block or two away (or more…well, whatever distance, it’s short) from Chocopologie is A Taste of Holland. Even if we couldn’t read, the imagery of cheese, tulips, sausage, apples, bright yellow clogs, and what I think is one lone cloud would have totally screamed “HOLLAND!” to us. Here’s a little tour of the shop.

carrots and peas
carrots and peas?

How adorable is this jar of baby carrots and peas? Aside from the “reminiscent of the noise that throwing up makes” name of the company, very!

sauces for fries?
frites sauce

If I had fries, I would’ve liked to have tried the fritessaus, and if I had sausages I could’ve doused them in curry ketchup. If only I had salchipapa…


The back wall of the store was mainly taken up by a huge refrigerator of cheese. Lots of precious cheese, untouchable by customer’s hands.


My heart jumped at the sight of the mini stroopwafels, which I first got from a food trade with Maaike in 2005 and again in another food trade with Sean in 2006. THEY ARE SO GOOD. TRUST MEEEE. A thin layer of slightly chewy caramel splodged between two waffle cookies? Who wouldn’t find that delicious? I eat something like 5 at a time since they’re so small, but that’s probably the equivalent of one regular sized stroopwafel. Oops.

Update (4/23/07): These are $2 a pack at the Union Square Trader Joe's. A part of me wishes that no one had told me I could buy them there because NOW I WILL EAT THEM ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME, OH HOW I WISH I WERE KIDDING.

licorice in a tube
squeezy tube

Zwart wit is licorice, which the store offered in freakishly abundant quantities. I think this is the squeezy tube version. My first thought upon seeing it? DO NOT WANT.

licorice powder?
jesus, there’s more?

They also offer licorice in powdered version for when you want to dust it on your tongue. Or snort like coke. Seriously though, this crazy licorice madness has to stop. The black candy of death is not uber-delicious.

gum smiles

I loves me some beewax!

butter candy

I was excited to see such a thing called butter candy (baabbelaars), but was disappointed when I popped one in my mouth (Charlie and Lydia declined since they were full, while giving me a look that said, “Oh my god, you’re still eating?!”…which they also may have said aloud) and found out that it didn’t reek with deliciousness. I’d say it’s good enough for me to slowly eat most of the bag, but not so good that I’d get it again. The flavor is sweet, kind of buttery, but doesn’t have much depth and…um, maybe I’m being too critical of a simple hard candy. I do like the bright blue wrapper with the illustration of a woman’s head being attacked with what looks like giant sea sponges but probably aren’t (unless they are Dutch sea sponges!).

oh man

No one actually wants to wear wooden clogs, hence why there’s a PLUSH VERSION. Snuggle up with a pair of these before you go to sleep. Or not.

best buttons ever

Charlie and Lydia almost escaped the shop without buying anything until they set their eyes on the bin of super corny Dutch-pride buttons.

posing in front of the shoes

They purposefully posed in front of the shelves of wooden clogs with blank, unexcited faces while donning their snazzy new accessories.

best button ever

“Wooden Shoe Rather Be Dutch?” Yes, yes I would.

Besides the Dutch goodies, there are also a lot of Indonesian products to choose from. I wouldn’t have thought that a Dutch shop would double as a source of Indonesian sauces and snacks. Oh colonization, what funny things you have done for food! (History classes would’ve been so much more interesting if they included more information about food besides, “And these countries traded craploads of spices.” The only time I got to learn about that stuff was in my food in history class last year. Unfortunately, I forgot most of what I learned after the class was over, which is how my brain treats all history classes. On the upside, out of all the history classes I’ve taken in my life the food one was the one I liked the most.)

Charlie and the giant egg
Charlie and the…giant egg

We returned to Chocopologie to get our desserts. But Charlie did not get the “what must be purely decorational because who the hell would eat this thing?” $40 chocolate dinosaur egg. And I guess I wouldn’t either if I had to save up to EAT AT PER SE FOR MY BIRTHDAY. (On that note, happy almost 21st birthday, Charlie!) Ohh whatever, I’m not bitter. One of my other friends will be eating at El Bulli in May and you know, that’s cool…[weeps on the inside]…

cookie innards choco chip cookie

Because I cannot resist the hypnotizing allure of a chocolate chip cookie (CC cookies haunt me in my sleep), I had to try Chocopologie’s version. It was unfortunately quite hard and not in the nice crunchy sense but in the, “Hm, this is…rather not soft” sense. The texture was all that was off—otherwise, the flavor was good and the cookie had some beautiful chocolate layering action going on.

passion fruit egg
passion fruit egg

I was also intrigued by the passion fruit egg because I love the flavor of passion fruit and I like…eggs? I like round things? Yes, I like round things. Unfortunately, this was overly sweet. And you know if I’m saying it, it must be true. I thought the filling would stick to the insides of my swallowing tube, resulting in throat diabetes. Or maybe I ate it wrong. …I DON’T KNOW, I JUST DON’T KNOW. It was mind-alteringly sweet. Of course, I ate the whole thing anyway because it was peeerty.

I also bought a box of assorted chocolates but haven’t dug into it yet because I’m going to share it with my mum when I go home this weekend as a late birthday treat. She turned the big five-three (everything after 50 is pretty big, right?) earlier this week. YAY, MOMMIE!!!

Thanks to Charlie and Lydia for making my first visit to Connecticut full of delicious chocolate and Dutch goodies! I leave you (or rather, Charlie leaves you) with this audio clip of Charlie making funny noises and bellowing “BAAABIIIIES” mainly for my personal enjoyment, partially for yours:

I think my carrying around of a hand held recorder may be a very dangerous thing. Hehe. Hehehe. [rubs hands together in a sinister, Mr. Burns kind of way.]

Update: My latest Gothamist post about E-Mo is up. To any Korean people (or someone who knows a lot about Korean or Japanese cuisine), can you tell me if kimbap came from sushi or if sushi came from kimbap? I thought it was the first, but I'm no expert.


12 S Main St
Norwalk, CT 06854

A Taste of Holland
83 Washington Street
Norwalk, CT 06854


Kathy / April 20, 2007 12:44 AM

ROBYN! OH MY GOD! I swear, we really are food twins! I just bought the EXACT SAME BAG OF STROOPWAFFELS from Trader Joe's like 10 MINUTES ago. That's so scary! I was just about to open them before I read your weird! In a good way of course :)
(I still can't believe it!)

bobogal / April 20, 2007 6:10 AM

Hey Robyn, I think it's the first time I ate a meal while reading your blog. Was munching thru my ham & cheese sandwich (on soy & linseed bread-my absolute fave)while reading about your delicious sandwich. Then had a peanut cookie (actually 2) when reading about your cookie - I almost felt like I had company for dinner tonight *wipes tear*. Thanks for the read, I have been finding Friday and Saturday nights pretty hard to get through recently...


Jay / April 20, 2007 10:41 AM

Really, 4.25 for curry ketchup?

Stuff that's that easy to make should never be sold for that much. Honestly though, even being part dutch I don't get all the hubbub. I know some people who not only speak dutch they parade their ethnicity. I mean, yeah pancakes...awesome! Wooden shoes? Would you really want to walk around afraid to get a splinter at every step?

...but stroopwafels, now that's something to be proud of.

Jay / April 20, 2007 10:49 AM

By the way, I don't know about yours but my trader joe's has those same mini stroopwafels for 2 bucks a bag.

Mmm carmelly cookie goodness.

Jen / April 20, 2007 12:56 PM

If you like stroopwafels (which there is no comparison for when served and devoured tounge numblingly hot at a little stand of an Amsterdam street market) you have to try Oliebollen -- yup, this loosely translates to fried oil balls. Its a rasin dough fried and doused in confectioners sugar. Kind of a hybrid between fried dough and a doughnut. Served hot with sugar melting into the dough they are awesome.
...btw. zap the stroopwafels in the microwave for 10 seconds to replicate the Amsterdam street experience...

Clare / April 20, 2007 12:59 PM

I want some HAK. But I must agree with you re: the licorice craziness - I find the flavor somewhat grody and it leaves your mouth all black, as if you'd been chewing on an inkjet cartridge.

bazu / April 20, 2007 2:18 PM

Yum- when I read the word "stroopwafels" I had to scroll all the way to the bottom of your post to see them! I love stroopwafels so much, especially those made with maple syrup. Mmmmm... mapley dutch chewy goodness...

susannah / April 20, 2007 2:30 PM

Tape recorders are insanely fun. When I had one back in, oh say, the 5th grade, I think I too used it to capture the sounds of my friends screaming about eating babies, etc. Yaaaay.

I'm afraid that lavender-chocolate-espresso concoction may taunt me for days.

Have a good weekend, I'm off to see Hot Chip at Webster Hall. I'm looking forward to some pictures of those chocolates you bought!

Aunt Jone / April 20, 2007 3:11 PM

OMG- black licorice is the vilest thing EVER. I am so glad you share my vehement dislike of it. Blech!

Re: oliebollen- my ex MIL used to make something called oliekuten (sp?) which sounds similar to oliebollen. It is reportedly best fresh out of the vat (as are donuts, to which this is obviously related) so perhaps a trip to Holland for piping hot oliebollen is in order. I say reportedly because I think she only made them once in the 7yrs I was married to her son and I think I had them when they were a day old. In other words, blobs of dough with raisins and coagulated fat. Ish.

Annie / April 20, 2007 3:22 PM

Oh Robyn, you are one of the great word stylists. And this time you re-introduced me to someplace I knew: South Norwalk, where the Beautiful Daughter and I resided from 1994-1997. It did not have the stores you visited then (or else we'd still be living there, especially the BD, who actually liked wooden shoes) but it was lots of fun.

That feeling of "I could finish the whole bag of this, but I don't think I'd buy it again" is the way I feel about most "Foreign" (i.e. not American) processed foods.

When we go to Barney Greengrass I will explain the entire history of the Jewish people in America as reflected in their foodways and you, your mouth full of yummy fooding, will nod and smile. YOU BET.

roboppy / April 20, 2007 5:55 PM

Kathy: Yes, WE ARE FOOD TWINS! But not metabolism twins. Sigh.

bobogal: I'm glad I can keep you virtual company. :) Friday and Sat nights hard to get through? :( I do laundry on Friday nights!...okay maybe that's sad.

pom d'api: Thank you! Or..merci, rather. :D YES CHOCOLATE IS AWESOME!

Jay: Yup, it is a lot for ketchup, but I assume someone is buying it. Someone who doesn't know how to combine curry powder and ketchup.

Pancakes are freakin' sweet. Stoopwafels are freakin'...sweeter. Wooden shoes, I dunno. ...Those do confuse me.

I have to go to Trader Joe's and see how much they sell it for! I hope the price isn't too inflated in NYC. :|

Jane: Wow, a truffled enrobed in...chocolate. That doesn't sound very appetizing to me. Euh. I wonder if they tested that combination out or just thought...HEY I HAVE THIS EXTRA TRUFFLE, LET'S DO SOMETHING WITH IT.

Okay, if I go again I will get chocolate cake!

Jen: Holy crap WHAT? Now I really wish I had gone to Amsterdam when I lived...a helluva lot closer to it. I have never heard of oliebollen before! What is this monstrosity?! So they're like...donuts...very fried donuts. With lots o sugar. I would like that verrry much.

Clare: But I looove chewing on ink jet cartridges. ...Wait, no I don't.

Oh the wonders of licorice. Ew.

Bazu: Now I know the secret to getting more readers: put "stroopwafel" in the title of every entry. Which means I should always eat stroopwafels. Which is fine with me.

Susannah: Eating babies was all the rage in 5th grade!

Oo Hot Chip = funfun. I saw them once...for free! But it was quite hot and crowded. Um. But it was free, so I don't care!

Oohh I didn't really take photos. I kinda just ate them. .__.

Aunt Jone: Blobs of dough, raisins, coagulated fat...I SEE! I suppose I should only try em if I see them being made right in front of my eyes before the coagulation process can begin.

Annie: Aw, there was no Dutch craziness when you were in the ol SoNo? Well you obviously have to go back! Wooden shoes, oh ho ho!!!

I am excited about Barney Greengrassing!!!

Patty / April 21, 2007 12:18 AM

I cracked up when I read about that Dutch butter candy and the sea sponges :) I really wonder what those yellow things are - it can't be her hair.
As for where gimbap originates- according to wikipedia, it came from the Japanese (as sushi) during the Japanese occupation of Korea and the Koreans adapted it to their own tastes, and thus we have gimbap! Wikipedia could be wrong though. I do know that den jang guk (Korean bean paste soup - must stronger taste than Japanese miso) and kimchi are very Korean things.
-Did you know that E-mo means mother's sister (aunt) in Korean?
-If you're willing to go to CT, you should also stop by New Haven. Since it's a college town, there are a TON of wonderful, tasty eats!
Oh boy this is a long comment. Your post just has so much discussion material!

jeroen daelmans / April 21, 2007 2:43 AM


Thank you for your kind feedback on our mini stroopwafels. There a lot of US friends who signed to ; have a look and please the comments.


Jeroen Daelmans
P.S. You might be interested in

Mikey / April 21, 2007 3:54 AM

Thanks a lot! Now I have a craving for stroopwafels :) You should try the fritessaus some time. It's not entirely unlike mayonaise. Curry ketchup is not just tomato ketchup with curry powder mixed in, it has its own unique flavor and texture (hm, does ketchup have texture?) Also, how weird is it to put liquorice powder in tubes? Because that's what those b/w tubes contain. You squeeze the tube and a big puff of liquorice hits you in the face instead of in your mouth where you wanted it to go :D

Mikey / April 21, 2007 7:01 AM

Oh, and the "sea sponges" are a traditional headdress (that used to be) worn by women in the province of Zeeland, in the south-west of the Netherlands, where boterbabbelaars originate from. Also: awesome blog!

chasgoose / April 21, 2007 11:44 AM

I am NOT crazy! I just act that way on tv. You should come visit New Haven soon! Pizza party and more!

roboppy / April 21, 2007 12:55 PM


Patty: I looked it up on wikipedia too, hehe! I dunno how well research the info is, of course. If at all. ;) But then wikipedia ends up being the main source for these kinds of things, mrah!

Someone on Gothamist pointed out the meaning of E-Mo too, but I didn't know what it was beforehand! So... ..."Aunt". Interesting?

Oh yes, I will go to New Haven at some point!

Jeroen: Thank you for making DELICIOUS STROOPWAFELS! Everyone who eats them becomes addicted! I need some! Now!

Everyone, become friends with the stroopwafel-er!

Mikey: Curry sauce has a different texture? Innnteresting. ... ...I guess I'd have to try it to find out. I had curry sauce on a chopped up hot dog once and it tasted like ketchup with curry flavor, but maybe that's just how they made it (and it wasn't a Dutch place, hehe).

Why would they put powder in tubes? That is...kind of weird. I would figure it would poof into your face. Eeuh.

Thanks for the info about the headdress! Now it makes a little more sense. Even if it's still kind of crazy looking and head smooshy!

Charlie: Uhh yes I WANT TO!!! Will have ot be a day that your friends don't have recitals and whatnot!

Yunie / April 22, 2007 10:12 AM

omg stroopwafels....

I believe my RA gave one to me after he came back from vacay in Amsterdam (I think).. although he didn't tell me the name I'm pretty sure this is what I ate, since the waffles squishing caramel sounds deliciously familiar.

now I know that they can be found @ Trader Joes.. am off to find!

Terry B / April 23, 2007 2:58 PM

I love little day trips like this! It seems every small city or town has an interesting story to tell, and you captured this one beautifully.

roboppy / April 23, 2007 7:26 PM

Yunie: I went to Trader Joe's today for stroopwafels and YES THEY WERE THERE, OH GOD WHYY?!?! I'm gonna buy craploads of these now. :[

Meg: Awesome! long as it doesn't actually exist!

Sera: Ahh, you are a lone black licorice lover! Hehe. The store is totally for you then.

Oo that blog is awesome, thanks for pointing it out! I wish my Japanese were better. Although I'd have to study it for a few years to understand anything on that page, methinks. I can only barely read the kana...

I love that the first resto there is called FAT ROBS. It's like it was made for me.

Terry: I'm glad you liked my story! Now that the weather's nice I should take more day trips. But only with people who like the foods. :P

Ezra / April 26, 2007 11:23 AM

Hey now, I live in one of those states all "smooshed up" next to the others, and I object to your dismissal of it! I hope you aren't actually serious, because if you are, you're really missing out on a lot of amazing things (both gastronomically and otherwise)!

Also, black licorice is delicious. But it's okay you don't like it, since that means there's more for me.

roboppy / April 27, 2007 12:27 AM

Ezra: Hey, I live in one of those states too! Hell, I'm from the armpit! That's gotta be the worse. I'm semi-proud to be from NJ! Maybe I should put that on a t-shirt...

I'd love to do some sort of fooding road trip across America (and by "fooding" I mean sandwiches and ice cream), but I'd need at least one other person to do that with, largely because I hate driving. Unsurprisingly, no one else is really available for that.

You need to get yourself to the Netherlands...or Scandinavia...or some other black licorice crazy place!

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