This is why Antwerp is called the Cookie-city

Antwerp is often called the "Koeke-stad" by the locals. The term refers to a name they use for all kinds of pastries and other similar dough preparations. "Koeke-stad is a local dialect word for "Cookie-city" Here are two historical reasons why that could be:

There are two explanations for the expression "koeke-stad". This expression was originally used by people from outside the city, but nowadays the inhabitants of Antwerp also use this term when they refer to their city.

Picture by Pixabay

One of the most common explanations is that in the early 20th century there was a biscuit factory named "Parein" located at the Van Der Keilenstraat, very near to the city's central station. In addition to selling high-quality biscuits, customers could also buy "rebate", that were rejected biscuits during production because they were not perfect enough to sell at their normal price. These cookies or biscuits were usually bought by people from outside of Antwerp but worked in the city and had to take the train. They started to bring the much cheaper cookies home to their families.

A second explanation is that the bakeries in the villages near the city did not bake pastries during the week. They only did that on Sundays and special holidays. In Antwerp, these pastries were baked every day. So visitors and people who worked in the city took these home on normal weekdays as well. Pastries from the Cookie-city!

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