While waffles may be a ubiquitous item ordered in many countries, the “waffle” is actually representative of a slew of different preparations throughout Belgium. Read ahead to learn more about all of the different dishes, desserts, and snacks that constitute as waffles. And if you’re inspired by this piece on Belgium, subscribe to Countries here!
The “Belgian waffle” – as it is called in North America – varies greatly from the waffles that are enjoyed in Belgium. Normally made with flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, milk, and butter (although sometimes other leavening ingredients are used in place of the baking powder, i.e yeast), the different varieties of waffles have subtle changes that distinguish each type. Some toppings for waffles include anything from chocolate chips to varying fruits, to honey or jam. Of course, it is imperative to cook these treats in a waffle iron! These style of these irons have changed in multiple ways over the years, but their purpose is still the same.
Here’s a comprehensive guide that’ll come in handy the next time you happen to take part in food trivia:
With deep pockets to catch everything from confectioner’s sugar and maple syrup to whipped cream and butter, these waffles from Belgium were introduced to North America in the mid-1900s at a fair in Seattle. Some Americans view the waffle as an variation or alternate to a pancake. They are also sometimes enjoyed as a dessert, usually served with ice cream. A typical waffle preparation in the Southern United States is chicken and waffles, in which battered, fried chicken is served atop of rich, chewy waffles and often drizzled with a flavored maple syrup. It is rich, but so delicious!
Traditional Brussels waffles – which inspired the “Belgian waffle” in America – are light and crisp, with rectangular edges. They are often sold by street vendors and topped with powdered sugar, although the toppings may change based on the specific region. The oldest recipe of this type of waffle dates back to the late 1800s!
The Liège waffle is denser and often studded with chunks of pearl sugar which caramelize when the waffle is baked. This is the most common waffle throughout Belgium and is often sold in varying flavors such as vanilla or cinnamon. The chew is similar to a brioche bread.
Flemish waffles – which date back to the 1740s – were actually usually served with sugar and orange blossom water.
American waffles vary only slightly from Belgian waffles, due to the width and thickness of the waffle iron.
Stroopwafels are super-thin waffles, with a sweet syrup filling that acts as the glue between the two paper-thin crisp waffles. They are especially delicious and are wonderful dipped in coffee or tea!
Galettes campinoises are crunchy, buttery waffles that are very popular in Belgium.
Bergische waffles are crisp and heart-shaped and usually served with cherries and cream.