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The Belgian waffle is a type of waffle identified by its larger size, lighter batter and higher grid pattern which forms deep pockets and has larger squares than other types. In Belgium, there are a number of different types of waffle, including the Brussels waffle, the Liège waffle and the stroopwafel; what is known in North America as the “Belgian waffle” is most similar to the Brussels waffle. As opposed to a traditional waffle, the Belgian waffle attributes its height to the use of yeast batter instead of a pancake batter. Though one of the main ingredients in Belgian waffles is yeast, this ingredient can be substituted with self rising flour. Most recipes call for yeast and eggs. These ingredients make Belgian waffles different from standard waffles and pancakes. In North America, they are often eaten as a breakfast food, and are usually served with butter (or margarine) and maple syrup or with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit (such as strawberries) as a dessert. In Belgium they are more commonly served as a snack or light dessert.

History

Brussels waffle dusted with powdered sugar.

Originally showcased in 1958at Expo 58, Belgian waffles had their American debut at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle, WA in 1962. The waffles were further popularized in the United States during the 1964 New York World’s Fairat Flushing Meadows Park, USA. The waffle was introduced by Maurice Vermersch of Brussels, Belgium. Originally called Brussels waffles, Vermersch decided to change the name upon observing the poor geographical skills of Americans. These waffles were served with whipped cream and strawberries, and retailed for a dollar. Today, Belgian waffles are mostly served warm by street vendors. In America, they are served just as standard American waffles are. Toppings vary from whipped cream, confectioners sugar, soft fruit, chocolate spread, to syrup.

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