The Belgian Waffle – Like the country, it’s complicated

As a Belgian citizen, I always feel a slight feeling of patriotism every time someone mentions the Belgian Waffle and praises its taste. But I always wondered, which waffle do they actually mean? The fact of the matter is that there are a couple of recipes which we claim as national treasures.

By Zeger Verleye, UNRIC office for the Benelux

The Liège Waffle

This 18th century pastry is widely considered to be the most popular Belgian waffle. Its brioche-like dough and the crushed block sugar seem to appeal to people, who eat it cold as a snack or warm with condiments like whipped cream, chocolate sauce and/or fruit.

The Liège Waffle

You can find a good recipe here.

You can go to virtually any waffle stand in the city centre of Brussels to buy one of these, they’re almost throwing the damn things at you. But for some good quality waffles, you can go to Maison Dandoy and the Waffle Factory.

The Brussels Waffle

When Americans say ‘Belgian Waffles’, they usually mean the light and crunchy pastry that is made with beer batter and has a typical rectangular shape. Originating from the 19th century, this waffle is eaten warm with powdered sugar, whipped cream and strawberries.

The Brussels Waffle

You can find a good recipe here.

For a good place to eat these waffles, you’ll have to go to a waffle house or a tea-room.

The Lackmans or Laquemant Waffle

These waffles are not that well known outside Antwerp or Liège. Similar to the typical Dutch Stroopwafels (syrup waffles), this fair food is a simple waffle cut in two and smeared with rock sugar syrup.

Lackmans or Lacquemant

You can find a good recipe here.

You can eat these waffles at Désiré de Lille in Antwerp or Liège, or at a fair in Brussels.

Other Waffles

The aforementioned waffles are only the most known in Belgium. There are a lot of varieties and recipes, going from buttered biscuits (the butter crisps of Jules Destrooper) to local artisanal dessert waffles to experimental savory condiments like bacon or pulled pork.

If this article made your mouth water and created an insatiable appetite that needs to be satisfied, then I’ll shut my waffle and let you get one.