A Jodekoek is a large, flat cookie made out of shortcrust pastry and it has a diameter of about 10 centimeter. According to a very old story the first Jodekoek was baked in 1606. But for sure we know that a guy named Albert Govers had a bakery in Alkmaar and started making these in the year 1883. In 1924 he sold his company to Dirk Davelaar who came from Zaandam. He rebuild the store and placed a lot of advertising in the newspaper the Alkmaarsche Courant. This way his specialty, the Jodenkoeken got famous with the regions of Alkmaar but also outside of it.
Jodekoek directly translates to Jewisch Cookie. Most people believe this names comes from the cookies a Jewish baker from Amsterdam made in the 1920’s. Other sources report however that the recipe has nothing to do with Jews but a baker with the family name “de Joode” made these cookies.
Then there is a third story even, the cookies are large but thin. With little money you could present large cookies. Many products that were cheap in former times were called Jewish. This was because they were known to be cheap, but also simply because they were poor. Therefor they were known for buying cheaper products. The name of the cookie was considered offensive in the 1970s, the producer considered changing the name but it never happened. However the Jodekoeken that were produced for export did get a different name.
In 1996 because of the change in spelling rules in Holland, some producers changed the name from Jodekoeken to Jodenkoeken, others just didn’t change the name of the cookie.