The Belgian waffle does not exist in Belgium

The Belgian waffle is a type of waffle popular in Europe and North America. What is known in North America and the world as the "Belgian waffle" does not exist in Belgium. No single type of waffle is identified as a "Belgian waffle". Within Belgium itself there are a number of different varieties, including the Brussels waffle and the Liège waffle.


Originally the waffle was first showcased in 1958 at the World Expo 1958 in Brussels. Waffles were later introduced to North America by a Belgian named Walter Cleyman at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle in 1962 where they were served with whipped cream and strawberries. The waffles were further popularized in the United States during the 1964 New York World's Fair at Flushing Meadows Park.

There the waffle was presented by Maurice Vermersch, a cook from Brussels. He named it the Belgian Waffle. That kind of  waffle was largely based on a simplified recipe of the Brussels waffle, Vermersch decided to change the name from "Brussels" to "Belgian" because many Americans could not correctly identify Brussels as the capital of Belgium. These waffles were also served with whipped cream and strawberries.


Compared to the standard American waffle, the Belgian waffle has a larger size, lighter batter, larger squares and a higher grid pattern that forms deep pockets. It also traditionally uses yeast instead of baking powder, although contemporary Belgian waffles are often made with baking powder. Waffles are never eaten as a breakfast in Belgium, more as a desert or in the afternoon at a tearoom with coffee.

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