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Jaarsma Bakery

727 Franklin St. (On the town square), Pella, IA - (641) 628-2940
Posted By Michael Stern on 5/4/2007 6:08:00 PM
Probably the most famous things made at Jaarsma Bakery are Dutch letters – giant-size pastries in the form of the alphabet. They’re swell, and no one should visit Pella without eating at least a monogram; but Dutch letters are only a hint of the glories to be found on Jaarsma’s shelves. To the left as you enter are racks of sunny-yellow angelfood cakes made into circles and loaves. To the right are cases filled with dozens of beautiful pastries, many with such enchanting names as krackelings, goat’s legs, almond bankets, and figure 8s.

Above the pastries on the top shelf are two kinds of bread, both of which we find irresistible. One is apple bread, a gnarled loaf with a frosted top. It is more pastry-like than bread-like, and makes us think of what Paul Bunyan might have with his morning cup of coffee. The other favorite is cinnamon bread – a soft, swirled loaf with veins of moist cinnamon sugar folded inside. We suppose that a civilized person buys these loaves, takes them home, and uses a knife to slice them. We have never done that. We buy one of each, hit the road, and tear at them in the front seat like hungry wolverines.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

While we thoroughly enjoy eating Dutch letters, we sometimes wish they came in other letters besides ''S.''
"While we thoroughly enjoy eating Dutch letters, we sometimes wish they came in other letters besides ''S.''"
Cliff Strutz





A tray of apple bread loaves:  We guess you could slice one with a knife, but we much prefer to tear a loaf into sweet, crumbling shreds.
"A tray of apple bread loaves: We guess you could slice one with a knife, but we much prefer to tear a loaf into sweet, crumbling shreds."
Michael Stern


Goat legs are crispy almond cookies, dipped in chocolate on both ends.
"Goat legs are crispy almond cookies, dipped in chocolate on both ends."
Cliff Strutz


The nice lady who waited on me at Jaarsma Bakery described kracklings as tasting like pie crusts with sugar sprinkled on top.
"The nice lady who waited on me at Jaarsma Bakery described kracklings as tasting like pie crusts with sugar sprinkled on top."
Cliff Strutz


The glass cases full of delicious looking baked goods goes on and on...
"The glass cases full of delicious looking baked goods goes on and on..."
Cliff Strutz


Unless you call ahead of time, the only Dutch letter Jaarsma Bakery typically carries is the letter
"Unless you call ahead of time, the only Dutch letter Jaarsma Bakery typically carries is the letter "S". The delicious looking chocolate and almond cookie above is called a goat's leg. (Photo and caption by buffetbuster.)"
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


The ladies who work behind the counter at Jaarsma Bakery wear traditional Dutch bonnets.
"The ladies who work behind the counter at Jaarsma Bakery wear traditional Dutch bonnets."
Cliff Strutz


Jaarsma opened in 1899, and has been in this location on the town square in Pella since 1948.
"Jaarsma opened in 1899, and has been in this location on the town square in Pella since 1948."
Michael Stern



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