Waffles are, without a doubt, my breakfast/brunch food of choice. When I was little, my family and I would go to IHOP every weekend, and I would always get a Belgian waffle. Until recently, I actually could not stand maple syrup, so I would take that scoop of whipped butter and spread it evenly before sprinkling sugar on top. I liked my waffles plain and simple, no whipped cream, fruit, or any of those different syrups IHOP has…like boysenberry – I still don’t know what that is. I would always ask why it was called a “Belgian” waffle, but neither my parents nor the nice lady at IHOP could provide me with an acceptable answer. At the time, however, I really don’t think I could have cared less.
Several years later, I’m a little bit more knowledgeable. From what I understand, the “Belgian waffle” is a North American construction referring to a larger and lighter version of the typical American waffle. In Belgium, they have several types like the Brussels waffle and the liege waffle, for example. Brussels waffles are rectangular, egg-white- or yeast-leavened, crispy on the outside, and aren’t sweet, making them the perfect backdrop for a whole range of sweet toppings. Liege waffles, on the other hand,are round, denser, and sweet because of the pearl sugar used in the batter – this is great because some of the sugar melts and caramelizes into the waffle, while some remain crunchy and whole. Liege waffles can be eaten plain because they are already sweet, but at one of my favourite brunch places, Café Medina, they are served with a dipping sauce of your choice, ranging from white chocolate pistachio (with a hint of rose) to a raspberry caramel. I always get raspberry caramel. I also love chicken & waffles, but more on that in another post.
For a recent catch-up session, my best friend and I chose this great little bubble tea place in Burnaby called Tealips. Best part? They do waffles, particularly Brussels and Liege, with a variety of toppings. I chose the “Cinnamon” which had bananas, caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, walnuts, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon on top of either a Brussels or Liege waffle. Given the decadence of the toppings, I opted for a Brussels waffle. My friend, Malorie, chose a Liege waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and walnuts. I promise our catch-up sessions aren’t always this decadent.
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