Don’t just assume because I’m an American living in Holland that I’m talking about Bruce Springsteen. I was “Born In The U.S.A” and “My Hometown” had seen some “Glory Days” but I was “Born To Run” towards the “Streets of Philadelphia” while “Dancing in the Dark.”
I’m talking about the “Bossche bol” from Banketbakkerij Jan De Groot in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, also named Den Bosch. Pff... Say that 3x quickly! Then, you are Dutch! Echt moeilijk man!!!
The Fabergé egg of whipped cream
It’s a Saturday morning in Amsterdam, it’s cold out, windy, probably some rain, NO sun anywhere in the forecast, so I think to myself, “Lekker weer! What a perfect day to get a Bossche bol! I check the train schedule and start my journey. I’ve got about an hour to prepare for my encounter with the “Fabergé egg of whipped cream”!
The M54 metro from Wibautstraat towards Centraal Station shaves about 10 minutes off. 50 minutes left! A two-minute walk, I board the Intercity 851 towards Maastricht on Platform 4B. The train is busy, people scurrying to find a place to sit.
I get lucky and grab a window seat, take out my notebook and begin to write. 48 minutes and counting. My own personal mini movie plays just outside my window. Beautiful Amsterdam city to farmland within minutes. A mini forest, another small city, back to country canals to mini forests, back to farmland. Mooi!
I snap out of my daydream by hearing “Het volgende station is Utrecht Centraal” or “The next station is Utrecht Central”... About 30 minutes more. Snelheid: honderd achtien km/uur or 73 mph doesn’t seem fast enough, but, finally, we arrive, Den Bosch!
10.000 Bossche bollen
At a 5-minute walk from the station stands the Jan De Groot Banketbakkerij: 18 years in business, 40 people waiting in line outside and an average of 10.000 Bossche bollen sold each Saturday... I make my way in. Yes, I said 10.000 BOSSCHE BOLLEN on average each SATURDAY, alone! Chew on that for a while… Uh, OK!
They have beautiful food, soups to sandwiches, however, I’m here specifically for one thing and one thing only, the Bossche bol.
Like a human Bossche bol
About the size of an overweight tennis ball, they serve me up one quickly after I sit down. I laugh when it arrives because I’m handed tiny utensils to eat this thing with. “One small bite for man, one giant leap for man’s stomach.” I am sent to the moon with that first bite! When I sink my teeth in, I get an explosion of “slagroom” aka whipped cream.
“How do they get so much whipped cream inside?” I think to myself as my eyes roll back into my head. It’s fresh, fluffy and FULL. The pastry, light and airy. Flaky, but not like a friend who cancels on you last minute. Oh and the chocolate shell, so subtle, soft not over sweet.. a perfect mix of powdered sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder.
This thing is “The Boss” and it’s in charge of my taste buds, asking me to work overtime today. I have one, then two, then a third. Yes I know, this is not normal but I can’t stop! Despite the struggle with my inner Fat Kid and almost biting my hand off, I push myself away from the table, pay and walk slowly back to the train station feeling like a human Bossche bol.
The best there is?
Whether it’s with coffee, after dinner, for breakfast, as a gift or after an hour-long train ride, it doesn’t matter. The Bossche bol from Jan De Groot Banketbakkerij in ‘s-Hertogenbosch or, Den Bosch, is “the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be.”
Have you ever had a Bossche bol? What did you think? Let us know, leave a comment!