Did you know there are two different kinds of waffles made in Belgium? Me either! When I arrived in Belgium I knew I was planning to eat my share of waffles while I was here, but I had no idea there would be so many choices to choose from.
You can choose to have your waffle topped with powdered sugar or brown sugar, topped with jam, topped with a variety of fruit compotes, topped with fresh berries, topped with whipped cream, drizzled with melted chocolate or caramel, with or without a scoop of ice cream … the list goes on. You can even opt for a mix of 2 or 3 different toppings together. Your choices are just about endless.
But if having to choose between all the delicious toppings wasn’t enough, you will also need decide which type of waffle you would like – Brussels or Liege. I know, I know … decisions abound!
What is known as a Belgian waffle in North America simply does not exist in Belgium. Go figure! They have Brussels waffles and Liege waffles, and many restaurants and cafes will offer both types of waffles.
Waffles in Belgium are also not typically served for breakfast like they are in the United States. Instead, they are served as dessert or a mid-day snack. You also won’t find them smeared with butter and swimming in maple syrup like you will in the United States.
I’m sure you’re wondering what the difference is. Here’s how you can tell the two apart.
Brussels waffles are made with a yeast-leavened batter, which makes them lighter and crispier. They are rectangular with defined edges, and they have deeper pockets or holes.
Liege waffles are made with a thicker batter that is similar to bread dough, and they have uneven edges. Pearl sugar is mixed in with the dough, which caramelizes when the waffle is cooked. They are thicker, richer and chewier than the Brussels waffle.
I’ve tried both. Although both are delicious, I prefer the sweeter, thicker Liege waffle.
You can find waffles in most restaurants and cafes in Belgium, and you can find street vendors selling them in many of the city squares.
Have you had a Brussels or Liege waffle? Which type do you prefer?