4.19.2018

Belgium Pop Up: Waffle Me This


So, waffle or pancake? My wife goes for pancakes, but I prefer - always have - the crispness, the texture, the structure of a waffle. Sure my mom made them from scratch when I was a boy, pancakes too, but whereas waffles hold syrup in their little cubes, it slides off the pancake. So there’s that.
So when Birch BendersToaster Waffles came along I had to try them. In Belgium typically a waffle is a hand food, a street food, not really a breakfast item. Vendors were all around the streets when I visited Belgium a few years back, and so were the chocolate shops, but that’s another matter. Here in the U.S. with the arrival of the Belgian waffle only in 1962, breakfast was poised to be the resting place for the waffle. Birch Benders makes four iterations of a waffle, all available here in America and they retail for $3.99 a box. Why they work is that they mimic the classic waffles in Belgium, being crisp on the exterior and soft on the inside. One of the nice things is that these waffles do not become saturated with syrup, as many do. I like this. Of course not everyone uses syrup, some use powdered sugar, jam, even just butter and eaten that way, which I did try and found the waffles to be an enjoyable snack, just like I was back in Belgium.

The Hometown (190 calories/two) toast up crispy outside and light on the inside. The Hometown has an essence of sweetness to it and is rather mild in terms of flavor.
The Buttermilk (180 calories/two) while certainly not potent buttermilk flavors, it nonetheless offers a slight sweetness, tempered by the wheat.
The Protein (180 calories/two) holds a huge 11 grams of protein per two waffles though they don’t hold a heavy feeling.
The Paleo is nothing to fear. Tasted straight there without any topping is a light but noticeable what seems like wheat and nut flavors, but they’re not made with either. Made with cassava (a root vegetable), tiger nut (actually not a nut at all, they are tubers) and coconut they are surprisingly flavorful.

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