Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Snacking on Authentic Belgian Waffles


A Belgian Waffle - Street Food

I'd always considered Belgian waffles a fancy breakfast or brunch food. That was, before my visit to Belgium.

Truth be told, I first became enlightened in Holland, the day before traveling to Belgium.  My photography friend Carol and I were visiting the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens outside of Amsterdam and grew hungry.  We saw a long line of people waiting for waffles, so we figured they had to be good. 

Right we were! The waffles were fabulous- sweet, dense and yet crunchy with the tiniest specks of sugar clinging to the ridges.  No syrup or chocolate needed. One bite and we were hooked. Who ever thought of waffles as snack or street food?

As soon as we arrived in Brussels the next afternoon, we stopped in the train station and sure enough, there was a waffle vendor. Picked up a waffle and again, the same wonderful texture with a hint or caramelization and sugary crunch.
A Waffle Vendor


Turns out Belgian waffles are pre-cooked and then frozen or refrigerated. Seems the reheating process causes some of the sugar to caramelize; yet some retrains a semi-hard Pop Rock like zing.

Soon, we were looking for waffle vendors on every street corner and were happy to say we found them everywhere - in Brussels, in Ghent, in Bruges. Sometimes they offered fancy toppings, but locals never bothered, so neither did we.  We ate our way through Belgium on waffles and chocolate samples. 

Belgian Waffle Toppings _ for tourists


I deviated once for a yummy meal of local mussels at a sidewalk cafe in Bruges and we had surprisingly good lasagna in Ghent- fine, creamy cheese filled pasta.

But, if I return to low countries again (and, of course, I hope I do), I am going straight to the waffle stand.

Disclosure:  My trip to Belgium was self-funded.