In every restaurant in Belgium, in almost every menu you’ll find “Belgian Waffle” in the dessert section. And at every restaurant we almost always order it… the Belgian waffle.
However, after ordering and eating it at several different restaurants we noticed they either looking like this;
Both taste completely different, yet on the menu it states Belgian waffle? The kids started noticing the differences and as soon as we went to another restaurant they’d ask what kind of waffle is it to the waiter?! “Is it the chewy, thick one or the regular one?”
And so, I had to do the research and explain to them the difference.
The “Brussels Waffle”
What we learned was that this “bel-gem” waffle was debuted in the US in 1964 at the NY’s World’s Fair by a Maurice Vermersch. This waffle was to created to market Brussel’s to the American’s. The name “bel-gem” stuck and somehow became what American’s consider the now “Belgian Waffle”. Most people we spoke to in Brussels call it the “Brussels Waffle” and not the Belgian waffle. This waffle is very similar to that in the US, it’s texture is light and crispy – though eaten plain with just powdered sugar or whipped cream and not maple syrup.
The “Liege Waffle” (pronounced Lee-edge)
This is the most popular waffle eaten and ordered in Belgium. There’s a big difference in the taste and texture in this waffle in that its texture has a thick, chewier, dough-like consistency and is already sweet. So sweet in-fact it doesn’t require all the whipped cream that it’s frequently served with in the touristic areas of the city.
Our recommendation is when you’re in Belgium, order a fresh “Liege waffle” without any toppings if you want a real Belgian waffle experience. In our opinion, the “liege” really is the real “waffle” deal.