Some people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And when you eat breakfast food for each meal of the day, truer words have never been spoken. One of our all-time favorite breakfast foods is the beautiful, succulent, mouth-wateringly fresh waffle 华夫 huá fū…
Have you had them before? YES.
If your answer is no, you need to stop what you’re doing, find the nearest waffle restaurant, and try them immediately. If you live in China, usually a bakery or a Korean café should have them.
And to learn how to make them for yourself, please scroll down to the bottom of this post.
“Waffles are the universe’s way of letting you know everything is gonna be alright. Sit back, relax, have a waffle…. and life is good again.”
– Elizabeth, USA
There, now that everyone has eaten some waffles, let’s continue.
Waffle’s predecesor, the communion wafer, originated in Europe during the Middle Ages and was spread around the continent by means of the far-reaching, but not that great in the end, Crusades.
The first actual waffle recipe dates back to Belgium in the 1600s but the first time the word “waffle” was used in English wasn’t until 1725.
The Belgian waffle made its first appearance in the USA at the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle and it was at the 1964-65 World’s Fair hosted in Queens, New York, that Belgian native Maurice Vermersch and his family made the waffle’s popularity skyrocket.
Plain, traditional Waffle
The crisp-on-the-outside, airy-on-the-inside waffle was served two ways: the traditional fashion (plain) and with a slight embellishment of freshly whipped cream and just-sliced strawberries. The demand was so great that the family had to hire a team of 10 people just to slice strawberries! This doesn’t account for those whipping the cream, piping that whipped cream or cooking up the waffles on the 24 machines they had running.
The Vermersch family were no fools — they understood how little the rest of the world knew about Belgium and so the Belgian waffle was born.
Today, waffles vary greatly by type and location:
- The Brussels (Belgian) Waffle is lighter, crisper and have larger pockets. In Belgium, most waffles are served warm by street vendors and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. You can eat them at any time of the day or night!
- The Liège Waffle is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. Native to the Eastern region of Belgium, they’re an adaptation of brioche bread dough, featuring chunks of pearl sugar which caramelize on the outside of the waffle when baked. It is prepared in plain, vanilla and cinnamon varieties by street vendors across the nation.
On Sundays, our favorite place of worship
- The North American Waffle is generally denser and thinner than the Belgian waffle and they are often made from a batter leavened with baking powder, which is sometimes mixed with pecans, chocolate drops or berries and may be round, square, or rectangular in shape. They are usually served as a sweet breakfast food, topped with butter and maple syrup, bacon, and other fruit syrups, honey, or powdered sugar. They may also be served as desserts, topped with ice cream and various other toppings.
- The Hong Kong Waffle is generally soft and not dense. It’s made and sold by street hawkers and eaten warm on the street. It is similar to a traditional waffle but larger, round in shape and divided into four quarters. It is usually served as a snack. Butter, peanut butter and sugar are spread on one side of the cooked waffle, and then it is folded into a semicircle to eat.
Maple syrup and berries added~
“I’d say my favorite way of eating waffles is just plain. Liège waffles are really sweet so they don’t need anything. You eat them hot and they’re heaven! The Brussels waffle is a bit lighter, but I still prefer them with only caster sugar on top.”
– Claire, Belgium
The recent Netflix hit show Stranger Things 怪奇物语 guài qí wù yǔ featured another type of waffle prominently in their story line: frozen Kellogg’s Eggo homestyle waffles. Love ’em or hate ’em, every child in the USA can relate to these… things.
And by the way, you can stream the show for free in China (with Chinese & English subtitles) at:
Highly recommended 80s-style waffle thriller!
Yummy yum yum!
How to make WAFFLES!
First you need a
Waffle iron 华夫饼机 huá fū bǐng jī
Easy to find online in China~
Then you need some
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
Fruit & Berries
And finally, follow these simple
1) Combine dry ingredients: All-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
2) Make a well in the center and add: beaten eggs, vanilla and milk.
3) Combine well; mixture may be lumpy.
4) Add oil and stir until fully combined.
5) Pour waffle batter onto preheated waffle iron.
6) Bake in waffler according to manufacturer instructions.
Watch this short video on how to make a very basic waffle:
And as one waffle lover to another, please send us your recipes and photos of your own creations! We promise not to drool too much…