Did you ever notice how many of our foods are named after people or places? Sometimes it’s easy to track down the how and why of the name, other times it’s impossible. Belgian waffles are deep, crisp,and lighter than a traditional waffle and have an interesting naming history.
They were introduced in the 1950s to the world during the Brussels World Exposition. In 1964 they were introduced to North America during the World’s Fair, which was held in New York. In Belgium, the waffle is known as the Brussels waffle, but Belgians worried that people might not know where Brussels was, so they called their waffle the Belgian waffle for the New York World’s Fair. It also helped that the waffle was found in the Belgian pavilion. The rest as they say, is history.
I prefer homemade buttermilk waffles which have a little more body to them. Buttermilk waffles are still light and fluffy, but in a different way from the Belgian recipes, which to me aren’t as tasty. There are countless varieties of frozen waffles available for quick breakfasts, too. And then there are the toppings. Plain, butter, syrup, fruit, peanut butter, cinnamon, whipped cream, the toppings are limited only by your imagination.
Winter time is the perfect time to try something new for breakfast, and the library has many breakfast cookbooks for you to explore. Try a recipe from one of these:
“The Waffle Cookbook” by Leslie Freiberger has a recipe for Belgian waffles along with many others for breakfast. Included are waffle recipes for peaches and cream, power waffles, mandarin oranges, onion, cranberry, yam ‘n’ banana, bran, cantaloupe, and more. The author loves waffles so much she has included chapters for appetizers, lunch, dinner, and desserts. Lots of waffles for sure.
Dorie Greenspan gives us “Pancakes From Morning to Midnight.” There are recipes for every season and every meal of the day. For breakfast there two basic recipes — one with buttermilk, the other without to get you started. Then you can also try cornmeal cakes, buckwheat, multi-grain, yeast, and many flavored ones that include cranberries, honey, strawberries, peaches, etc.