‘Sweetest’ country on earth: Belgium and its waffles

Belgium is known for its sweet treats. Belgian chocolate and Biscoff probably come to mind. But waffles are also typically Belgian and loved all over the world.

Although the waffle is often associated with Belgium, this delicacy is older than the country itself. In the 13th century, the ancient Greeks cooked flat dough between two metal plates, creating the first waffles known as "obleios", which were mainly savoury and topped with cheese and herbs.

In the late 14th century, the first known waffle recipe appeared in an anonymous manuscript, Le Ménagier de Paris, written by a husband as instructions for his young wife. It was also around this time that the term "waffle" was first used.

Legend has it that the Liège waffle was invented in Belgium in the mid-17th century by the Prince of Liège's chef. Originally intended as a brioche with chunks of sugar, it became the famous sugar waffle.

The Brussels waffle came a little later, although the exact origin of this variation isn't entirely known. According to some sources, the basic recipe for the Brussels waffle was created in Ghent in the 18th century before it became popular in Brussels. However, other evidence points to a later date, around 1864. It is said that the Brussels waffle became popular thanks to street vendors selling waffles in the streets of Brussels.

Export product

Today, waffles of all shapes and sizes are enjoyed all over the world. But Belgium excels. Over the years, many variations have been invented. Waffles have also become a famous export product. A famous example is Jules Destrooper, who sells waffles not just to the Belgian royal family but all over the world.

The popularity of the Brussels waffle has also become an internationally recognised speciality. Many countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania have establishments specialising in the sale of Brussels waffles, Liège waffles and other Belgian waffles.



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