Siroopwafelen (syrup waffles, also sometimes called stroopwafels) are a traditional Dutch treat which I've often enjoyed. So when I learnt in the Gouda tourist office that it's possible to see them being made, I jumped at the chance to witness the baking process.
Tucked away behind this unassuming shop front, the "factory" is a little room at the back which tourists can visit - on the condition that you keep behind the green line (away from the machinery) and don't get in the way.
The process starts with a machine that deposits appropriately-sized chunks of waffle dough into a series of rotating waffle irons:
At the other end of their circuit, the now-cooked waffles are picked up by vacuum suction cups (sometimes imperfectly - see the one left behind?) and moved across to the conveyor belt:
At which point they're stamped with die-cutters, trimming each one to a uniform circular shape:
The waffle is then split by a jet of highly pressurised air, allowing the top to be lifted by another vacuum arm...
...so the thick syrup can be squeezed into the middle:
They are then conveyed to the final oven, and baked for a couple of minutes. Finally, they're packaged up (one of the few manual parts of the process) and displayed for sale in the shop. Where we bought some to take home, of course - these were definitely the nicest ones we've had.