I’m not really able to say that I “grew up” in Belgium, since I moved back to the US when I was still so young, but childhood memories are more about perception than time spent exposed to them. If someone were to ask me my fondest childhood memory I would say “sitting on the curb in the middle of Brussels eating liege waffles.” That’s not a curb up there, but that’s my sister and I eating them in a mall in Belgium, unable to smile, evidently, because we’re too busy stuffing our faces with waffle 🙂 I’m still halted in my tracks by the smell of cooking waffle cones at ice cream parlors because it’s so similar and brings back the same wave of nostalgia.
Until–well today–I thought that this was the one childhood memory I’d have to go overseas to re-live. I don’t know WHY no one thought of it before, but there was not a single place in the United States where people were cooking waffles the way they do on the streets of Belgium.
Liege waffles aren’t the Belgian waffles that you can pick up in the freezer section of the grocery store. In fact, not even close. While those are technically Belgian (Brussels) waffles, the waffles of my childhood are much different.
According to The Belgian Waffle Co. (who I will commence singing the praises of in a moment):
The Waffle de Liége is made from a richer, more sweet dough, who’s key ingredient is Belgian pearl sugar. During preparation, the waffle irons are carefully set to the perfect temperature in order to melt and caramelize the pearl sugar. This produces a crispy and cakey texture throughout the entire waffle, with a soft and warm center.
Sounds heavenly? That’s because it is.
It looks a little something like this:
See that crispy caramelized sugar around the edges? That’s where the magic is, right there. This is the first ever moment that I really wished taste-o-vision existed. You’ll also notice that there chocolate oozing from the dough. That’s not a tradition liege waffle quality, but it was one I couldn’t resist and gladly paid the extra dollar for.
And, speaking of paying, let me mention the brilliant business minds that are responsible for finally bringing liege waffles to my backyard.
The Belgian Waffle Co. is the newest and hands-down greatest new food truck in Austin. I’ve said many times that you don’t have to walk through a door to get the best food in Austin. The best food is ordered through the window of an airstream trailer, or in the case a small bus?
Again, from their website, “We came here, to Austin, directly from Belgium. When we visited Austin last year, we loved everything this great city had to offer, and knew this was where we
wanted HAD to be!”
YES. THANK YOU. WELCOME. PLEASE STAY FOREVER.
Their menu also has a whole list of toppings that you can add on to your waffle. Everything from fresh fruits and syrups to savory toppings like sausage or BBQ sauce. Wouldn’t be a food truck without a little Austin flair, would it? I had to go traditional today, just to see if it was the real deal (it was), and Nick went american-traditional with maple syrup and powdered sugar (a real no-no by the way if you’re actually in Belgium). Both of us devoured those things like they might not be available tomorrow. But since they will be, we might just go get another.
Thanks BWC. For existing.