Papabubble, the sweet side of Amsterdam

Papabubble, the sweet side of Amsterdam

Feb 4, 2011 |  by  |  Spots

Located in the fancy Haarlemmerdijk and with a Scandinavian candy-making technique that dates back over 400 years, the Papabubble shop opens its doors to anyone looking for some stylish caramel art. A candy central like no other and certainly one of those hidden gems that only the Jordaan has to offer. Mika and Dominik are the caramel artisans that brought the concept to Holland, after having spent some time in Barcelona with the original shop owners from Melbourne. The candies are a fusion of exotic flavours and ancient production techniques, rarely seen in other sweets.

The shop has its production station visible, so everyone can enjoy the making of the candy. Each week, Mika and Dominik create about 200.000 pieces of candy with their own hands in ever-changing unique designs. This is not an easy process. They work with very high temperatures to mould the candy and very low temperatures to keep the shapes, so they have to move fast. Learning how to do this takes more than 3 months, and it is an everlasting learning curve as they keep bringing new designs to the shop. However, we cheated a bit and spent an afternoon with Mika and Dominik to to try and learn all their secrets!

Papabubble

Step one of the process is mixing the concentrated flavour with the sugar. These are no conventional flavours, think Mojito, toothpaste, chocolate, passion fruit… After that, the colours are made into plaques which are melted to create geometrical figures that will later on become the centres of each candy’s design. Regularly, customers ask them for extreme designs which makes this part of the process the most important and difficult step of the candy making. Next, a huge sushi-like roll is moulded with all the coloured plaques. They roll it and roll it until the circle shape is almost perfect. Here is where ‘El Roto’ appears, the end of the giant roll which looks quite funky… From this part onwards, little candy tubes are hand made and cut in little tiny pieces, all by hand.

Creating the design, cutting the candy or hand picking the candies for the bags, is quite a meditating moment, however burns are quite common…

Mika and Dominik do about four sessions of candy making a day, so pop by the shop to enjoy a never-seen-before candy making show, and have a taste of these amazing caramel art pieces.

Papabubble

Location: Haarlemmerdijk 70
Website: papabubble.com

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Photos by Andrea Huls

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