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History of Waffle
Waffle is a pastry originated from Belgium. It is assumed that cooking of waffle started in Belgium in the beginning of 16th century. In the 17th century, mainly the sugar free waffles or waffles sweetened with honey were used since sugar was very expensive at the time. Especially, in the first half of the 19th century, the sugar prices decreased down to very low levels with the start of beet sugar production, which leaded to the increase in waffle consumption in Europe. At the time, Florian Dacher found the Brussels waffle in 1842.
This famous type of waffle served in particular in touristic areas with chocolate spread (praline), whipped cream and fresh fruits, has soft dough and generally comes in rectangular shapes.
In 1958, Maurice Vermersch, a restauranteur from Belgium showcased his own version of Brussels Waffle in Expo 58 Brussels. Upon the success in this fair, he had the opportunity to introduce his waffles in America in New York World’s Fair in 1964. His product drew great interest in the fair and the recipe of the waffle changed by mixing with the other waffle recipes and spread to different states.
Liege Waffles are rumored to have been invented during the 18th century by the chef to the prince-bishop of Liege.
This type of waffle is denser, sweeter and crispier than Brussels Waffle. It is the most common type f waffle consumed in Belgium. Waffle heating iron, style and the dough is quite different than those of Brussels waffle. Brussels waffle has a rectangular shape, whereas the Liege Waffle is thicker and more ellipse like. This waffle is generally prepared in plain or with chocolate sauce. There are also vanilla and cinnamon varieties of this waffle depending on the region in the country.
In the 21st century, the waffle recipes continued to evolve and were adapted in different recipes as it spread to different countries.
In Belgium, waffle is a largely consumed product and waffle culture maintains its authenticity for ages. Various types of waffles exist depending on the regions, with Brussels and Liege Waffles taking the lead.
Dutch Waffle with caramel is a little different than the Belgium Waffle concept. The waffle, which is almost as crunchy as biscuit, is ready to be eaten after adding the caramel syrup to the middle of the baked halves. It was first made in Gouda in the Netherlands at the end of the 18th century by a baker. It is said that the aim of the baker to do the waffle was to make use of the remaining bread crumbs. In 19th century, around 100 bakeries were baking the caramel waffles in Gouda.
This type of waffle, which was not produced anywhere else, started to be produced in the other cities as well in 1870s and it was well appreciated. In 1960s, there were 17 factories only in Gouda and 4 of them still operates. Today, a wide variety and the most quality raw ingredients are used for the caramel waffles, unlike the bread crumbs as before.