The words Belgium and Waffles go hand in hand. One of the things that Belgium is famous for is its waffles. But as the name suggests, Belgium Waffles (commonly known as Belgian Waffles) is not only a dish that is savored in Belgium.
Belgian waffles are popular among people across the globe. It is a common breakfast item in many places which is often topped with whipped cream, maple syrup, and fruits. But, waffles in recent times have not only remained a breakfast item. People have it in their brunch, snacks, dessert or even as a meal for dinner.
Waffles are made by cooking leavened batter or dough between two plates which gives it a surface impression, pattern, size, and shape. Waffles can be of varied types depending upon the iron used for the waffle or the recipe. These were usually sweet but off late different variations have been found where the use of meat and vegetables has also been seen.
Belgium Waffles are traditionally made with yeast which gives it a light, fluffy and airy texture and they have square depression on the surface.
History of Belgian waffles
The Belgian Waffles that we find and eat in the present have undergone a lot of changes and improvisation from what it was initially like. The history of Belgium Waffles is fascinating to learn.
Waffles are traced back to the Medieval Period when they were sold as crispy street-side snacks. These snacks were sold outside the Churches in Belgium. Back in those times, agriculture was the main source of survival for the people. Thus, barley and oats were commonly used ingredients to make the waffles. Waffles soon became a popular food item for the common people as well as for the elite people, including the King and Queen.
It is a common belief among the people that waffles that are made in Belgium are of one single type. But, the fact is, two types of waffles originated in Belgium viz. Brussels Waffles and Liege Waffles. It is the Brussels Waffle that is now known as the Belgian Waffle. The reason behind it dates back to 1964 when Maurice Vermerch from Brussels, Belgium introduced the Brussels Waffles in New York. It was at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York City during the 1964 New York World’s Fair. He changed the name of Brussels waffles and called it Bel-Gem waffles. He did this as most of the Americans were unaware of the place and could not identify Belgium as the Capital of Brussels.
This made the waffles more identifiable and popular among the natives of America. These waffles were served with whipped cream and strawberries. Americans eventually started adding their own touch to this recipe and thus evolved what today people eat as Waffles of Belgium.
Places to get the best Belgian Waffles in Belgium
There are numerous restaurants and outlets in Belgium that serve delicious waffles of all types. This is one thing that people look forward to trying when they visit Belgium. Here is a list of eateries that one can visit and try on different types of waffles-
1. Maison Dandoy
Maison Dandy is a family-owned outlet of waffles which has been serving them for generations. The unique selling point of this outlet is that it still uses the traditional recipe of their forefathers. Both Belgium Waffles and Liege Waffles are specialized in there. Although, it is more popular for Liege Waffles. The motto of Maison Dandoy is “We want to make your senses twinkle and dance.” Maison Dandy has outlets at various locations.
2. Le Funambule
Le Funambule is one of the most crowded waffle places in Belgium because of its location. It is situated near Manneken Pis, a tourist place of interest in Belgium. People can customize their waffles according to their wish and can also get the classic waffle at 1 Euro. The other waffles with extra topping would cost a few extra Euros. The outlet remains open till 11 p.m.
3. The Waffle Factory
The Waffle Factory is a chain of outlets that sells waffles in a more commercialized manner. But, this does not compromise with the authenticity of the taste of the waffles. They sell Brussels waffles and Liege waffles but apart from that, their main attraction lies in the various other types of waffles that they have improvised. One of them is Lunchwhaf. It is a waffle loaded with meat, cheese, vegetable and sometimes, even curry, which is had for lunch.
Mokafé is a typical cafe with a spacious and fancy sitting area in the tea room. The Brussel Waffle in this place is very popular among the people of Belgium and is very delicious. It is a perfect place to have waffles and a cup of hot beverage, be it coffee, tea or hot chocolate. They serve delicious variations of waffles topped with fresh fruits, chocolate, and powdered sugar.
Peck47 has a unique menu. They serve a wide range of waffles apart from the classic waffles with whipped cream. Peck47 has waffle brunch items on their menu which makes them stand out from the normal waffle outlets. Their waffle combos are out of the box. There is a peck special which has two poached eggs on top of chorizo and goat cheese waffles, with bacon and a spicy sauce. Not only for meat lovers, but Peck 4 also has options for vegetarians too. They can opt for the Vegetarian Special, which contains healthier spinach and mushrooms.
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Belgian Waffles hold a special place in the heart of people who love food. There is no specific time for the people in Belgium to crave waffles. Although these are basically had for breakfast, Belgian people may have it at any time, whenever they feel like it. The same goes for people across the globe. If you ever visit Belgium try your hand on these outlets to get the best taste of the Belgium Waffle. The delicacy is sure to melt in your mouth, give a kick to your taste buds and touch your heart.