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Belgian waffles: a short history

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Belgian waffles are a beloved treat around the world, but for those in the know, there's nothing quite like experiencing the real deal in Belgium itself. In this blog, we'll dive into the history of Belgian waffles, explore some of the most popular topping options, and discuss how to spot an authentic Belgian waffle. We'll even give you a sense of how much you can expect to pay for this indulgent delight.

History of Belgian Waffles

Belgium has a rich culinary tradition, and the country's waffles are just one example of this. The first recorded mention of waffles in Belgium dates back to the Middle Ages, when they were made from a mixture of wheat, oats, and buckwheat. Over time, the recipe evolved, and in the 19th century, Belgian waffles as we know them today began to take shape.

There are two main types of Belgian waffles: Brussels waffles and Liege waffles. Brussels waffles are rectangular and have deep, square-shaped pockets. They are typically lighter and crispier than their Liege counterparts. Liege waffles, on the other hand, are round and have a dense, chewy texture. They are made with a dough that is enriched with sugar and sometimes even chunks of pearl sugar.

Topping Options

One of the things that makes Belgian waffles so special is the sheer variety of topping options available. Of course, you can always go with the classic combination of butter and syrup, but there are plenty of other options to explore as well.

Some popular toppings include fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and Nutella. For a savory twist, you might try topping your waffle with ham and cheese or bacon and eggs. And if you're feeling particularly indulgent, you can even opt for a waffle topped with ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

How to Tell if It's a Real Belgian Waffle

With so many imitations out there, it can be tough to know if you're truly experiencing an authentic Belgian waffle. One way to tell is by the shape: Brussels waffles are rectangular with deep, square-shaped pockets, while Liege waffles are round and have a dense, chewy texture.

Another clue is the toppings. In Belgium, waffles are typically served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. If you're seeing waffles topped with all sorts of crazy combinations, like fried chicken or avocado, you might not be experiencing the real thing.

Finally, pay attention to the texture. Belgian waffles should be light and crisp on the outside, with a soft, tender interior. If your waffle is dense or chewy, it might not be the real deal.

How Much Do They Cost?

Belgian waffles can vary in price depending on where you go and what toppings you choose. In general, though, you can expect to pay anywhere from €2 to €5 for a plain waffle with powdered sugar and whipped cream. If you opt for more elaborate toppings, like fresh fruit or ice cream, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Conclusion

Belgian waffles are a delicious treat that have been enjoyed in Belgium for centuries. Whether you prefer the light, crispy texture of a Brussels waffle or the dense, chewy goodness of a Liege waffle, there's no denying the appeal of this indulgent treat. With so many topping options available, it's no wonder that Belgian waffles have become a beloved treat around the world. So next time you find yourself in Belgium, be sure to seek out an authentic Belgian waffle and indulge in this sweet delight.


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