Travel Photo of the Day: Waffles in Belgium
When in Belgium, don't order a "Belgian waffle"
Waffles in Belgium can come with a variety of toppings.
In Belgium, there are no "Belgian waffles" — at least not by the same name that Americans use. What Americans know as Belgian waffles, Belgians have another name for: Brussels waffles, or gaufre de Bruxelles.
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Unique for their high grid, general fluffiness, and slightly fermented aroma (traditional recipes use yeast as a leavening agent instead of baking powder), Brussels waffles have been poplar snack in Belgium since the Middle Ages. As one might expect, the recipe back then was a little different from the waffles that we know today; instead of all-purpose white flour, they included barley and oats.
As the waffles have evolved from "unleavened crisp cakes" to the warm, supple pastries we know and love, they’ve also been paired with a few (now common) garnishes: confectioners' sugar, chocolate, soft fruits, and whipped cream, to name a few.
For the gaufre connoisseur, Liège waffles are also common in Belgium and differ slightly from the gaufre de Bruxelles. They are made from a brioche-like dough that is sprinkled with sugar during the final rise. The sugar eventually caramelizes on the griddle, which creates a fragrant and golden crust.
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Golden crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside with a near see thru appearance are the characteristics of a perfect waffle.
In Belgium, this type of waffle is known as the Brussels waffle where it is very popular. The Belgian or Brussels waffle was first introduced in 1856 at the fair in Brussels, although other types of waffles had been around for a much longer time. In fact a waffle iron can be seen on a painting by Pieter Breughel, dating back to 1559.
Traditionally waffles in Belgium are consumed as a dessert and served with powdered sugar, whipped cream, butter, ice cream, chocolate sauce, fruits etc. In the United States most people consume waffles for breakfast. In our home we serve waffles both for weekend breakfast (piled with lots of fresh fruit) and for dessert.
Getting it all together!
Since yeast is involved with this type of waffle it takes time to for this batter to reach perfection, therefore, if you are planning to serve this type of waffle for breakfast it is best to make these during the day and simply freeze them. Defrosting is quick and once they come out of the toaster they are still very good. If you serve them for dessert or an afternoon snack make them fresh!
Belgian Waffles – Brussels Waffles
Using liquor in this waffle is optional but does provide a very nice flavor.
Big ol’ Batch of Buttermilk Belgian Waffles
We eat a lot of Belgian waffles in this house. And by we I mostly mean my kids. And because we eat a lot of waffles, I always make big batches of them to freeze and thaw when needed so I am not waking up at 4 am on school days to make a fresh batch each time. That is just crazy talk.
When Magimix emailed me asking if I wanted to try their Vision toaster to review and give away I said “sure!” I have an old toaster that, is, well, old. I never know if its toasting or burning and it doesn’t matter the setting, it does what it wants. I was all for trying out a new toaster (Giveaway is now over).
So very spage age Jetson like and I can watch whatever I am toasting so I know I won’t burn it. I mean the toaster won’t burn it. I was thinking about just toasting some bread for this post, but I realized I toast something else way more than bread. And that is waffles.
I will make a batch once or twice a month that lasts several weeks. Waffles are so great to thaw, heat and toast for busy school mornings, they are fun for making waffle sandwiches or on nights my husband is working late and I don’t feel like making dinner or washing a ton of dishes we can have brinner!! ( Thats breakfast for dinner) My kids LOVE brinner. I will scramble up some eggs and or make some bacon to go with. Brinner is always a winner.
I have had a long standing love affair with waffles myself. Whenever I see a poll online, like on a friend’s facebook page asking to choose from waffles, pancakes or French toast, I always pick waffles. I have never been the biggest fan of French toast – its good, just not waffle good. And I do love pancakes, but my heart belongs to waffles, especially big thick Belgian waffles. Years ago before kids I dabbled in figure competing/ figure bodybuilding. The diet was strict so that meant no waffles for a very long time. I continued my diet plan, slightly loosened up after one competition up until my wedding day, a bride has to look her best, and then it was honeymoon time. My husband and I honeymooned at the Kona Village resort on the big island of Hawaii. Meals were included. I was so sick of strict meals all carefully weighed and measured out that I went probably a little overboard, but who cares, it was an amazing vacation and the food, ooohh the food. Breakfast every day was some sort of protein like eggs, a giant fat fluffy Belgian waffle, a big glob of peanut butter and of course some Kona coffee. Waffles for 7 days straight. I watched my abs go from 6 pack to 1 pack and it was oh so worth it.
When I make big batches of Belgian waffles for my kids I have a little secret about them to make them seem like they are freshly made each time. I underbake them initially. Or is it cook? Does a waffle iron bake or cook? Either way – 3 min tops. The waffle iron will still be steaming like mad, and you have to be careful when removing the waffles as they are fragile and might stick a little – but they are cooked – just not fully crispy cooked. I will then let them cool on a wire cooling rack before freezing. I let them thaw at room temp then I toast them. They come out like they were freshly made every time once toasted!
Golden toasty perfection. This toaster is awesome. My kids got to watch the waffles toast and let me know that they weren’t burning like how our other toaster sometimes does. I think all appliances should have windows. This is why I could never own one of those fancy French stoves like La Cornue or La Canche. I like to see my food cooking in the oven not be all paranoid and open it every few minutes to see what is going on. I could go for a fridge with windows as well. My kids could see what they wanted to eat without standing there with the doors open. My 4 year old loves to open the freezer and just stare at everything. See through appliances are genius.
Homemade Frozen Waffles Are Easy, and Here’s Precisely How to Make Them
Homemade waffles with raspberries, pecans, blueberries, nutella and bananas.
Photo by: Lew Robertson / Getty Images
Lew Robertson / Getty Images
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Warm Belgian waffles topped with strawberries, Nutella or just plain-old butter and syrup are the gold-standard of the sweet brunch menu. They are a treat for Saturdays or Sundays yet are often too time-consuming for the weekdays. But here’s an idea: what if the next time you made waffles, you made extra? Double your favorite recipe and freeze the leftovers for a luxurious reheat-and-eat breakfast option. For a complete how-to, follow the steps below.
1. The epic Liege Train Station
Happy Train Traveller in Liege-Guillemins!
One of my favourite ways to travel is definitely by train. It’s eco-friendly and goes with my love for slow traveling.
Nothing gives you more calm, space and punctuality. On top train traveling allows you to work on your tasks or just let your mind wander while gazing at the landscapes rolling by.
Travellers arriving in Liège by train will get a very special reward: Liège’s railway station named “Liège-Guillemins” is probably one of the most avant-garde and awe-inspiring ones in Europe. It is one of the top places to visit in Liege, Belgium.
It might surprise you that a train station is one of the things to see in Liege, but this station is something special. Designed by the renown Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and officially opened in 2009, it quickly became a major reason for architecture lovers to visit Liège.
Wondering what to do in Luik
When the former train station became too small, the Belgium railway society decided to built a new one. And how well thought, was the idea of creating a new city symbol, a sight that would attract visitors from all over the globe?
Nowadays the train station of Liège became a very popular photo motive for photographers, bloggers, journalists and Instagrammers from around the world. No wonder that Liege is often considered one of the best towns in Belgium.
Can you guess what inspired Santiago Calatrava when designing this building? He, who calls himself an artist and not an architect?
Let me give you a little hint: women’s hips…
Like pancakes, waffles can be flavoured with just about anything, but a little sugar helps to crisp them up (I like the flavour of the light brown sort, but any kind will do), and salt helps to bring out their flavour. Johansen and Van Waerebeek both add vanilla, which is pleasing if you’re planning to use them in a sweet context, but I’ve also added nutmeg, smoked paprika, and a combination of fennel seeds and lemon zest with happy results, so feel free to play about as suits your fancy.
Belgian Waffles with Pearl Sugar
I’m so very excited to share with you a recipe for True Belgian Waffles, they have pearl sugar & yeast in them, and making them made my heart sing! I’ve always loved a great waffle, and for years I’ve tried different irons and recipes, never making something I loved. Every time I go to Salt Lake City, I plan to make a stop at Bruges Waffles and Frites because I love them SO much (the frites/fries are pretty amazing, too). What I realized was inside of those waffles are little sugar crystals, so I set out to find what that was. Pearl Sugar! I looked around my hometown, but found nothing. Sure enough, I found it on Amazon, and it came quickly after I ordered! I also discovered a recipe with yeast that would make it crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside.
Here is a close up of the True Belgian Waffles without all the extra stuff.
The pearl sugar on it’s own…
Pearl sugar in the yeast-y dough/batter.
Maybe dough isn’t new to you for waffles, but it was to me! Here is the recipe:
Top 10 Belgium Food to satiate your taste buds
The spellbinding country of Western Europe, Belgium is a paradisiacal abode for foodies around the world. With immensely gratifying, scrumptious dishes, be prepared to develop an insatiable hunger for Belgium food. Here we bring you the most delectable Belgian dishes that you must try on your next trip to Belgium. Which one’s your favourite?
1. Belgian Fries
This is somewhat the national food of Belgium. No one calls it ‘French Fries’ there, even in English. The Belgium-perfected way of fries is a two-step frying process to perfect the inner and outer crunchiness as well as the softness. It is one from the list of Belgium vegetarian food. There is an annual voting of which restaurant or stall makes the best fries. One Belgian food fact is that the fries are a Belgian invention and not French. Although the Belgians have no actual proof they do however make the best fries in the world.
Where to try: Fritkot and Maison Antoine
Price Range: ₹514 – ₹1,028
Mussels of Mosselen-friet found in the North Sea are more fleshy than those in France and this traditional food in Belgium features mussels cooked either in white wine and classic vegetable broth or in traditional Belgian Beer. It is traditionally served with fries and for many dipping these in the leftover sauce after consuming the mussels is the perfect way to round off this dish.
Where to try: Poules Moules, De Rooden Hoed
Price Range: ₹2,276 – ₹2,863
This creamy dish is the superior version of your regular mashed potatoes and a staple of Belgium food. The belgium traditional food is a creamy blend of mashed potatoes and other vegetables like carrots, kale, brussels sprouts, etc. and served as a side dish or as a main course with sausages. To savour the taste of traditional food in Belgium, you must try this dish!
Where to try: Royal Brasserie
Price Range: ₹1,400 – ₹2152
4. Grey shrimp Croquettes
This sea-food is also one of the classic Belgium food specialties. It’s a crispy delicacy, usually made from scratch in most seafood restaurants. It’s crispy from outside and molten and oozing from the inside. It makes for a perfect snack and is also amongst famous food in Belgium.
It is to be noted that there are some Indian restaurants in Belgium as well. You can also check them out to savour Indian flavours in the country.
Where to try: Les Petits Oignons
Price Range: ₹1,550- ₹2066
You can safely consider these to be the unofficial national cookies of the Belgium food culture. It is a thin, very crunchy and caramel filled biscuit baked with some figures on it. Usually consumed with coffee, it is spiced and gives a different feel to the taste buds. It is one of the most famous delights amongst a multitude of appetizing Belgium foods.
Where to try: Maison Dandoy and La Confiance
Price Range: ₹ 367 – ₹1,101
It is a stew or soup made with chicken or fish, vegetables, cream, and egg. This dish can be counted as the Belgian comfort food in your Belgium food tour. Enjoy this stew on any cold day and feel the soup warm your senses in no time!
Where to try: t Klokhuys, Ghent
Price Range: ₹1,400 – ₹2195
7. Belgian Waffles
Waffles are like Belgium local food. There are two varieties of waffles, the rectangular ones which aren’t as sweet as the other variety but are topped with chocolate, cream, and various grated fruits. The other variant is small and has sugar crystals ingrained, so is more on the sweeter side. This is found almost everywhere, with many places having a unique taste to it. Just avoid extra toppings to get the pure sweet taste of the waffles.
Where to try: Waffle Factory and Mokafe
Price Range: ₹520 – ₹800
8. Belgian Chocolates
Talking about sweets, Belgian chocolate can never be left out. Being produced since the 19th century, it is a major part of the economy and Belgian cuisine. Since then, the cuisine has evolved to fit chocolate in many of its desserts such as the pralines, which are soft with a chocolate casing. Truffles are ball-shaped desserts with wafers or cream filled crust. Relishing these creamy and chocolaty delights in their country of origin, is definitely one of the best things to do in Belgium. Also, they are available in many places.
Where to try: Passion Chocolat and Galler Chocolatier
Price Range: ₹344 – ₹947
9. Sirop de Liege
It is a jam or jelly-like sweet made from evaporated fruit juices of fruits like date, pears, apples, etc. It is sweet and sticky and mostly served on bread or baguettes or you can even pair it with cheese for lunch.
Where to try: Globus, Chez Franz, Brussels
Price Range: ₹517 – ₹1,377
10. Tomates aux Crevettes Grises
Also called Tomaat met Grijze Garnalen, this is another Belgian classic food made of brown or grey shrimps with a generous mix of mayo and stuffed in cold tomatoes. It is a popular appetizer and loved by the locals and visitors alike.
Where to try: Belvedere, Ostend
Price Range: ₹1593 – ₹2000
If your mouth is already watering reading about the delectable Belgian food, why not explore Travel Triangle’s Belgium packages, so you can get a taste of this delectable cuisine yourself!
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The Tyranny of Belgian Waffles
On cold Saturday mornings in Cleveland, Ohio, my mom used to make us waffles. Her waffles were thin and square, about the thickness of a Paula Abdul cassette tape. We smothered them with margarine and maple syrup, leaving a sticky, batter-strewn counter in our wake.
Back in the s and s, thin waffles like these—let’s call them standard 𠇊merican waffles”—ruled the home and the restaurant menu. You’ve probably eaten lots of them they have a small, shallow grid and hold only a modicum of syrup in their junior varsity-sized pockets. Think Eggo, but bigger.
But if you’ve been paying attention to breakfast in the past 15 years or so, you might have noticed something: waffles have gotten thicker and thicker. Stockier waffles with deep syrup pockets, often topped with fruit or Nutella or mountains of whipped cream, are the new norm. They’re what men with beards are handing you out of food truck windows, and what servers are plopping down in front of you at brunch. Today, in most diners and restaurants and those omnipresent hipster comfort-food places, if you order a waffle, it’s gonna be Belgian.
I didn’t realize how ubiquitous Big Belgian had become until I decided recently to buy a waffle maker of my own. Since moving across the country by myself, I’ve eased into the lonely luxury of cooking pancakes on weekend mornings. When morning after morning of dense pancake breakfasts started getting old—trust me, it can!—I wanted to up my game with something that wouldn’t leave such an “I swallowed a flour bowling ball” feeling in my stomach.
Hoping to buy a thin waffle maker like my mom used to have, I scoured websites. I strolled the appliance aisle at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond, searching for an apparatus to grant me the pleasure of an H.W. Bush-era breakfast. But it seems like the only waffle maker you can buy these days is Belgian. Belgian! Why? I needed to find out.
Waffles, like pancakes, have been in America for centuries. Thomas Jefferson allegedly brought the waffle iron to America from France. In the early 20th century, waffles were thin and flat, a wartime breakfast that spared frills. Skinny waffles were successfully mass-marketed to the public when three California brothers debuted frozen Eggo waffles in the s. (Kellogg’s purchased the company in 1968.)
But even during the peak of Eggo popularity, a taste for a thicker waffle was percolating in America. Belgium natives Maurice and Rose Vermersch first served up thick, chewy waffles, known originally as Brussels waffles, at the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens. The waffles were such a hit at the fair that the Vermerschs simplified the name, deciding that the majority of Americans wouldn’t know where Brussels was. And from there, a craze was born.
The 𠇊merican” waffle and the Belgian waffle share the same basic recipe: flour, milk, eggs, and salt. American waffles are leavened with baking powder, whereas a true Belgian waffle is leavened with yeast. These days, a Belgian waffle you get at a restaurant is probably also leavened with baking powder, not yeast, making the difference more about form than substance.
The two waffles also look very different. Belgian waffles are baked in larger irons with bigger hinges, creating deeper holes and a thicker, airier shape. In other words, you could pick up a Belgian waffle and throw it like a frisbee.
Since the s, America has lived under the tyranny of Big Belgian. So what happened to our taste for the thin waffle of yore?
Marketing might be one important factor. The lgian” waffle sounds urbane and European, even if it’s being slung out of an industrial waffle press at a Nebraska diner by a guy named Gary.
Ken Albala, director of food studies at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco, also points to the Belgian waffle’s increased fluffiness as part of its appeal.
“The Belgian waffle has more air in it,” he says. “People then get the impression there’s more food there because there’s more surface area.”
Structure, too, could be one reason Belgian waffles, which are standardly 1.5 inches thick, have become de rigeur in America. The airy interior creates an fluffy base, and the sturdy, crisp outside can support the weight of toppings ranging from traditional sliced strawberries to artisanal ones like pulled pork with coleslaw.
Structured Belgian waffles lend themselves well to two major mid-2010s food trends. First of all, social media and Facebook food porn have sent us all on a search for the droolworthy shareable food photo. You can’t deny that the Belgian waffle serves up nicely on Instagram, all beveled edges and buttery scaffolding. A picture of a thin waffle drowning in a puddle of syrup doesn’t have nearly the same allure.
Second, the rise of snackwave has fueled online nostalgia for the junk food of our youth. Waffles are a paradigmatic comfort food, combining sentimental longing for Mom’s breakfast with the taste bud hug of stomach-warming butter and syrup. The Belgian trend has liberated waffles from just being a breakfast treat, and all-day waffles fit nicely into society’s current obsession with snacks. Now, you can get a thick Liège waffle from the Wafels & Dinges food truck in New York at various times of day. Walk into any hipster restaurant in a big city, and you’ll find a variation of chicken and waffles, co-opted from a rich tradition of soul food. And in the blog and now book Will It Waffle?, author Daniel Shumski experiments with smashing all kinds of cuisine—mac and cheese, meatballs, falafeltween a Belgian waffle iron’s unforgiving plates.
But not every restaurant in America has boarded the train for Belgium. Perhaps the most well-known holdout is Waffle House. A staple of the American south, the chain restaurant has served up their thin “sweet cream waffles” for over 60 years𠅊nd you won’t find any thick waffles on the menu.
Overnight Belgian Waffles
The night before, combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a very large bowl (the batter will expand enormously). Allow it to stand for about 5 minutes, until the yeast dissolves and the mixture has started to foam, which tells you the yeast is active. Stir in the milk, butter, honey, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and whisk until the batter is smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit overnight at a cool room temperature.
The next morning, heat a Belgian waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions and brush the top and bottom with melted butter. Beat the eggs together with the baking soda and whisk them into the batter until combined. Pour just enough of the batter onto the hot waffle iron to cover the grids (⅓ to ½ cup each, depending on your waffle maker), close, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat, until the waffles are golden brown. Cut them apart with a small knife, if necessary, and remove them with a fork. Repeat the process until all the batter has been used. Serve the waffles hot with sliced bananas, toasted coconut, maple syrup, and crème fraîche and let everyone help themselves.
Copyright 2014, Make It Ahead by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved