A tompoes or tompouce ("lit." Tom Thumb) is a common pastry in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the local variety of the mille-feuille or Napoleon.


In the Netherlands, the tompoes is iconic, and the market allows preciously little variation in form, size and colour. It must be rectangular, with two layers of puff pastry. The icing is smooth and pink, or occasionally white. For many years however, the top layer has been orange on Koninginnedag (Queen's Birthday), and a few days before. It may also be orange-coloured when the national football team plays in large international tournaments; this dates from about 1990. The filling is invariably very sweet, yellow pastry cream. Tompouce are sometimes topped with whipped cream. Variations with different fillings or with jelly are comparatively rare and are not called tompoes.

Several variations exist in Belgium. The "boekske" ("lit." 'booklet') may have a sugar finish and may be square. Belgians also prefer the spelling "tompouce".

Eating the tompouce

The cakes are usually served with tea or coffee, and in formal settings are eaten with pastry forks. But the brittleness of the pastry makes this difficult, inspiring the humorous article "Hoe eet je een tompoes?" 'How to eat a tompoes'. [Freek Schravesande,, august 30, 2007 (1e editie)]

Cultural references

The name of Tom Puss, a cartoon character by Marten Toonder, is a play on Tompouce Tom Thumb/Tom poes (Tom kitty).


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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