Since they hit the scene at the Brussels World Fair in 1958, Belgian waffles have never fallen out of fashion. It’s impressive for a food to have such staying power, for sure. Yet, we can’t help but wonder why. What is it about Belgian waffles that allowed them to withstand the test of time? That’s what we aim to answer today. Join us as we take a deep dive into the Belgian waffle, and what has kept it a breakfast staple for generations.
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North America prides itself on enormous portions. It might come as a shock, then, to see how Belgian waffles dwarf their American-style competition. Even without the customary mountain of toppings, the average Belgian waffle takes up an entire plate. To boot, they boast deeper pockets, providing more surface area to soak up syrup and melted butter. Simply put, a single Belgian waffle can be just as satisfying as a stack of smaller ones, if not even more so.
Nothing beats the light, crispy bite of a Belgian waffle. The secret to satisfaction lies in the batter; Belgian waffles are traditionally leavened with yeast, resulting in a fluffy interior and crunchy crust. In a pinch, the addition of baking powder and/or soda works just as well. Additionally, many recipes call for the egg whites to be beaten separately, then gently folded into the final batter. It’s a little extra legwork, sure, but the airy texture it yields is well worth the effort.
When it comes to waffle toppings, you can’t go wrong with a pat of butter and some sticky syrup. Don’t feel limited to those options, though; Belgian waffles accommodate a plethora of toppings, both sweet and savory. Strawberries can add a refreshing edge to your breakfast, while whipped cream or icing sugar will sweeten the deal. Better yet, slap on a few scoops of ice cream. Or, if you’re in the mood for something savory, you can transform your waffle into an impromptu BLT, or pair it with some juicy fried chicken. The possibilities are endless.
Belgian waffles needn’t be exclusive to breakfast spreads; they can be equally delicious at lunch, dinner, or as a dessert. The batter is a blank canvas, which can be augmented with a host of exciting flavors. Why not spice things up with a sprinkle of garlic powder, or a shake of celery salt? And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, a spoonful of sugar goes a long way. Coupled with the aforementioned array of toppings, Belgian waffles can stand in for any meal.
For all their selling points, you’d expect making Belgian waffles to be a painstaking process, right? Well, you’d be wrong. Truth is, they’re remarkably easy to make; all you need is a batch of batter and an appropriate waffle iron. What’s more, preparing the batter in advance and letting it leaven in the fridge will yield extra fluffy waffles you can cook at a moment’s notice. The batter also keeps for a few days this way; make enough of it, and you’ll be covered for multiple meals.
Featured Image: Megan Savoie