I’m a big fan of Belgian waffles. Of course, we call them Belgian waffles here in North America. But what is known in North America as the ‘Belgian waffle’ does not exist in Belgium. According to Wikipedia, Belgian-style waffles are described as…
Compared to the standard American waffle, it is identified by its larger size, lighter batter, larger squares, and a higher grid pattern that forms deep pockets.
When I go out for brunch and I’m craving something on the sweeter side (opposed to something savory like eggs & bacon), chances are I’ll order a Belgian waffle if it is available on the menu. They are satisfying and sweet, but not cloying, unless you add extras likes sauteed fruit or whipped cream, which I usually don’t do. I especially love their density and sturdiness; the deep pockets hold butter and syrup perfectly. It’s just a pleasant bite that’ll fill your belly every time and fulfill your sweet-tooth.
So, when Waffatopia, makers of Belgian liege-style caramelized waffles out of West Chester PA, reached out to me to ask if I would be willing to sample and review their product, there was no question that I had to accept. So we made arrangements for them to ship them off to me.
They came shipped in a non-descript parcel box, but when I opened it up, there was a white box branded with their logo and adorned with a graphical ribbon. Branding is so important, especially for food products. It has to instantly resonate and people need to get a sense of what they are getting from the packaging. The only suggestion I would make to the packaging is adding a picture of a Waffle. The tagline “A Caramelized Waffle Experience” is a bit small.
When I opened the box I was delighted to find each of the waffles individually wrapped in plastic, a special note to me, as well as other marketing collateral; a postcard with their story and a business card.
They also included parchment bags that would be used for putting the waffles into after they have been warmed.
They’ve obviously thought of everything. Except… the syrup because they “don’t need no stinkin’ syrup.” And honestly, they don’t.
So how do they taste? Having never been to Belgium, I wouldn’t know a liege-style Belgian waffle if it hit me in the face. But, after trying these, I feel like I would know what to expect if I were to travel to Belgium and order one off the street.
Referencing Wikipedia again…
The “Liège waffle” is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. Native to the greater Wallonia region of Eastern Belgium – and alternately known as gaufres de chasse (hunting waffles) – they’re an adaptation of brioche bread dough, featuring chunks of pearl sugar which caramelize on the outside of the waffle when baked. It is the most common type of waffle available in Belgium and prepared in plain, vanilla and cinnamon varieties by street vendors across the nation.
If that doesn’t make you lick your chops in anticipation, I don’t know what will!
But seriously, these are not your normal waffles. They really do pack a lot of flavor; and the pearl sugar caramelization is something you need to experience to fully understand it. It’s a bit crunchy, but dissolves as soon as it hits your mouth, but never overtakes the flavors that are in within.
The first of the four flavors that we sampled in the variety pack sent to us where the Cinnamon Vanilla and Maple Bacon flavors. The flavors totally shone through. I could distinctly taste cinnamon and vanilla in that one. It was pleasing. The maple and bacon flavored one was more on the maple-side than bacon. But I certainly could tell that bacon that was baked within. Personally, I’m glad it was more sweet than savory. As that is my preference. Out of the two, I would order the Cinnamon Vanilla waffle again as it’s more traditional.
The fact that I tried the flavors a week apart was not unintentional; in fact it was by design. How could I give an honest review if I had shoved all four flavors in my mouth at once? I don’t know; it just seemed wrong and that I couldn’t really, fully enjoy them especially if I had already eaten something else. So I dedicated two Saturdays in a row and these were my breakfasts.
I randomly selected the flavors I would have each week, just based on what I felt like having. I didn’t pair up the flavors; it was all really haphazard. No rhyme or reason.
Though I will admit that I had grand hopes for the Chocolate Stuffed ones and I fully expected them to be my favorite because of my chocoholic-nature. While they were everything I could have hoped for and more in a chocolate stuff waffle, I have to say the seasonal Lemon Blueberry waffles stood apart. Chocolate is chocolate (and I adore chocolate), but when you get something with real, fresh blueberries inside and a burst of lemon – for me – it’s hard not to fall in love. They were just so vibrant! So kudos for them for getting all of that natural lemony, blueberry flavor into them.
While I wholeheartedly recommend buying a variety pack, especially the seasonal variety pack, to sample all of the flavors, my favorites were Cinnamon Vanilla and Lemon Blueberry. I can only hope they’d keep Lemon Blueberry on the roster forever as opposed to a seasonal flavor, because it’s awesome. Since it’s seasonal, do yourself a favor and order the Cinnamon Vanilla and Lemon Blueberry as a Half & Half Variety Pack!
BTW beer lovers — they’ve partnered with Victory Brewing of to offer a Monkey Spice Waffle – a truly one-of-a-kind waffle for Spring and Summer. Victory Golden Monkey® Belgian-Style Tripel is blended with tropical fruits, spices and our signature handmade waffle dough with Belgian Pearl Sugar.
It was not included in our variety pack, but it sounds OUTSTANDING!
In summary, you really should try these locally produced Belgian, Liège waffles before the rest of the country hears about them. Brian and Andrea Polizzi are local food entrepreneurs following their dreams and making a quality product that you’re sure to love. Learn more about their story and why they started Waffatopia here.
Waffatopia is perfect for gifts for any occasion really — holiday, birthday, anniversary, thank you, housewarming, care package or even as a corporate gift. Personally, I would order a variety pack and invite all of your brunch-loving friends over and share with them. Order online.
The Doyenne of Dining in Philadelphia and South Jersey.