The “tastiest” museum in Holland

Bakers museum Medemblik
Last weekend, on a bright but cold spring afternoon, my family and I visited the historic town of Medemblik. A forty minute drive from Amsterdam, this mediaeval harbour town is situated on the IJsselmeer, originally part of the North Sea. Medemblik is home to, amongst other attractions, the baker’s museum. Quoted as being the “tastiest” (lekkerste) museum in the Netherlands.

This small, quaint museum is housed in an Edwardian shop on the main street. Walking through the narrow door you’re greeted by the warm, buttery smell of freshly baked biscuits. Dutch favourites such as ‘speculaas’, ‘zandkoekjes’ and ‘gevulde koek’. These delicious ‘Koekjes’ or cookies are prepared and baked at the museum. Visitors, especially children are encouraged to help roll and cut the dough before the finished cookies are baked and handed round for people to try.

the On the first floor there were all manner of confectionary creations being demonstrated from chocolate pralines to colourful marzipan tulips. Although this may seem strange, bakeries in The Netherlands, have always sold handmade chocolates and marzipan sweets alongside their baked goods. Especially during the St. Nicholas festivities in November, when children’s shoes are traditionally filled with chocolate letters and marzipan sweets by the saints moorish helpers.

Antique chocolaté moulds

The picture above shows a collection of vintage chocolate moulds used
to make the traditional St. Nicholas gift of a chocolate letter.

The museum is wonderfully amateurish, from it’s home-made signs to its collection of everything and anything to do with baking. There are displays filled with old bread tins, chocolate moulds and vintage packaging. Every inch of space is filled with fascinating period machines. Mechanical and electric devices to mix, roll, cut and shape dough. On the walls are advertising signs for well known brands and faded photographs of a bygone era. Sepia images, showing past generations of family run bakeries and the communities they served.

Bakers order book
Period baking machines

The pictures above (from top left to bottom right) are of: An Order book, 1920’s Chocolate moulds;
A machine to remove cherry stones; A mechanical biscuit mould and a Wooden rolling pin.

We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours watching the demonstrations,  gazing into the filled display cases and sampling the biscuits. The biscuits were so tasty I couldn’t resist asking for second helpings. If you’ve never tried one of these Dutch cookies filled with almond spice or a syrup waffle then you are really missing out.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tour! What a lovely museum too! Do you live in Amsterdam? I live in Mechelen, Belgium & do you also speak Dutch, like us?

    • Hi Sophie, I used to live in Amsterdam but we moved to Bussum about 8 years ago. En ja, ik spreek Nederlands, maar ik worstelen nog steeds met de grammatica 🙂 I love visiting the Flemish part of Belgium in particular Brugge (Bruges) – wonderful restaurants.

  2. Marinka Kamminga says:

    There’s bakery museum in Hattem (Overijssel) too, if you’re ever in the neighbourhood and fancy another buttery welcome. I did not know this one in Medemblik, but will visit soon (only 15 minute drive for me)

    • Marinka, thanks for the tip. I’ve not been to Hattem, but this gives me an extra reason to visit. Would be nice to hear your opinion on the museum in Medemblik. I was thinking of posting Dutch versions of the recipes on my blog, what do you think?

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