The chances that a everyone would know about the culture of Belgium is less. However, the same cannot be said about his/her knowledge about the Belgium Waffle. The beautiful country has secretly gifted the world with beers, chocolates, and fries. The world may not know about all of Belgium’s contributions; however, the sweet uniqueness of the Waffles from Belgium is savored everywhere by everyone.
Though the waffles represent the country’s cuisine, the irony is that the truth is not even remotely close to their actual creators. In the country of its origin, the waffle is a street food consumed with bare fingers and without a load of syrup to top it. In the U.S though, these delicious treats are a dense calorie meal with so many additives. While, the waffles are a treat by themselves in Belgium, in the United States, they are just a medium for all the toppings.
The Tale Of The Belgian Waffle
Though the waffle made its presence felt in America during the World Fair in Seattle in the early 1962s, the popularity increased only when Maurice Bermersch, a native of Belgium, brought it to the World’s Fair in 1964-65. It was called The Brussels Waffle initially and was served in two ways. The traditional way of serving it was plain with only a whiff of fresh cream and some sliced strawberries.
The delicacy was soon renamed Belgian Waffles as the Vermeersch family realized that the popularity would be hindered if it was known by the name it was initially called – The Brussels Waffles; as ‘Belgium’ was a more popular term. Though the family was lenient about the twist in the name, they weren’t as tolerant when it came to the way of eating it. They refused to provide forks and knives at the fair and insisted the waffles need to be eaten with bare fingers.
With deep wells and a precise rectangle formation, the look of the Liege waffle, a different version of the Brussels waffle, might not be pleasing enough, however, once you take a bite, there is no going back.
Made in heated cast iron the Brussels waffle is crunchy, light, has a melting texture and is raised with yeast. It is also dubbed to be fueled by a ‘special something,’ which is a well-guarded secret. A street food commonly served in tea rooms, the Brussels waffle, tastes impressive on its own and does not require maple syrup to be added.
Coming to America
With its migration to the United States, it was not only the name that changed. Once considered street food, the waffles became a breakfast item. The quality of the batter changed too; the dough now looked like pancake batter in contrast to the balanced, delicate batter it once required. So as to compensate for the flavor which was sub-par in comparison, the waffles were covered in toppings and embellishments.
The Liege waffle, however, is entirely different in comparison. The dough is mixed with Pearl sugar, which when cooked, caramelizes producing a crisp and browned surface. This makes the waffle chewier and sweeter.