From its humble beginnings as a cake of ground grains cooked on top of hot rocks, the waffle has evolved over time to become the crispy breakfast treat we know and love. The word “waffle” was first printed in English in 1735. The waffle had already changed format multiple times by then, originating in Europe, it was later introduced to the Pilgrims by the Dutch while spending time in Holland before setting sail for America. In 1789 Thomas Jefferson returned to America from France, bringing with him a waffle iron and started a trend.
While waffles are mainly known as a breakfast item in America, there are also enjoyed as street food in Europe. What we know as the “Belgian waffle” is actually one of two primary types from this country. It is typically served with syrup and butter, or whipped cream and fruit. The Liege waffle, named after the city, is made with a rich yeast dough that is studded with chunks of pearl sugar that melt and caramelize on the iron while it cooks. These waffles are not as common in America, but are enjoyed from street vendors throughout Belgium.