Belgian waffle

Outside of Belgium, Belgian waffles are a variety of waffle with a lighter batter, larger squares, and deeper pockets than American waffles. Belgian waffles were originally leavened with yeast, but baking powder is now often used. They are often eaten as a breakfast food; toppings vary from whipped cream, confectioners sugar, soft fruit, and chocolate spread, to syrup and butter or margarine. They may also be served with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit (such as strawberries) as a dessert.

Belgian waffles
A Belgian waffle with strawberries and confectioner's sugar
Place of originBelgium
Main ingredientsFlour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, milk, butter
VariationsChocolate chip, blueberry, strawberry, Nutella, etc.

In Belgium itself, there are several kinds of waffle, including the Brussels waffle and the Liège waffle.


The Belgian Village at the 1964 New York World's Fair, where the waffles were popularized in the U.S.

Originally showcased in 1958[1] at Expo 58 in Brussels, Belgian waffles were introduced to the United States by a Belgian named Walter Cleyman at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle in 1962, and served with whipped cream and strawberries.[2] The waffles were further popularized in the United States during the 1964 New York World's Fair[3] at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York City. These waffles were introduced by Maurice Vermersch of Brussels, Belgium.

Largely based on a simplified recipe for the Brussels waffles, Vermersch decided to change the name to the Bel-Gem Waffle upon observing that many Americans could not correctly identify Brussels as the capital of Belgium.[4][5] These waffles were served with whipped cream and strawberries, and they were sold for a dollar.[1]


  1. "Belgian Waffles". Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  2. "There's Something for All at Seattle's Fair". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 24, 1962. p. 2 via Google News Archive.
  3. Roberts, Sam (2008-07-27). "A Fair, a Law and the Urban Walker". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  4. "His waffles made memories at the Queens World's Fair". Newsday. 1989-08-22.
  5. Kraig, Bruce (2013). "Waffles". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. p. 554. ISBN 9780199734962. Retrieved 2014-02-10 via Google Books.

Further reading

  • Jacobs, Marc; Govenar, Alan (2016). "'Belgian Waffles' Made in USA. World's Fairs and the Exploitation of National Adjectives for Food". In Teughels, Nelleke; Scholliers, Peter (eds.). A Taste of Progress: Food at International and World Exhibitions in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 149–164. ISBN 9781472441836.
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