The Beloved European Breakfast Food That’s Taking Over Grocery Shelves

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Waffles person agelong been an important American meal staple. The concept arrived pinch nan Pilgrims successful 1620, aft a extremity successful Holland, and nan Dutch immigrants who settled successful New York helped cement its spot connected our greeting tables. 

Despite each that, since Belgian beauties were introduced astatine nan 1964 World’s Fair, winning Americans complete pinch soft, fluffy middles and quartered portions, location hasn’t been excessively overmuch alteration connected nan waffle beforehand — until recently. You whitethorn person noticed there’s a basking caller European import that’s creeping up successful aggregate aisles astatine nan market store: Belgian Liege waffles. And, situation I say, they’re successful a convention each their own.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Debbie Wee

Liege waffles, named aft nan metropolis wherever they were invented, aren’t thing caller overseas. “When you spell to Belgium, you’ll beryllium offered 2 types [of waffles],” explains Lynsey Edge, a caput of caller merchandise improvement for St. Pierre Bakery, a beloved brioche brand. “The Brussels waffle, made from a liquid batter, and a Liege waffle, made from a yeasted raised dough, which includes sweetener pearls.” These 2 traits are nan cardinal differences betwixt accepted and Liege waffles, which St. Pierre launched successful March.

Because Liege waffles are made pinch mixed that’s pressed into an iron, they’re much compact, fat, and irregular astir nan edges, points retired Ayeshah Abuelhiga, CEO and laminitis of Mason Dixie Foods, a Baltimore-based institution that makes stiff biscuits, waffles, and breakfast sandwiches. “Belgian waffles are usually rectangular aliases square,” she notes, aliases wedges from a information iron.

And they’re not made pinch immoderate ol’ dough: Both Mason Dixie Foods and St. Pierre Bakery usage brioche arsenic nan guidelines for a richer, much indulgent, and denser bite.

On apical — or, should I say, wrong — of that is pearl sugar, what Joe Beauprez, a elder head of trading for Frozen Foods astatine Kellogg Company, Eggo’s genitor company, calls nan “magical ingredient” that makes nan brand’s Liege-Style Waffles “so delicious.” He adds, “It gives it an added crunch and saccharine furniture astir nan exterior.” Edge agrees, which is astir apt why her marque is “generous pinch [the] sweetener pearls.” 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Debbie Wee

Why Are We Suddenly So Sweet connected Liege Waffles?

Well, a fewer reasons: Waffles are trending, and not conscionable on societal media. “Waffles are a increasing class successful nan U.S., worthy $1.2 cardinal successful unit and up 10 percent connected past year,” says Edge. “We are seeing double-digit year-over-year maturation trends successful Liege waffles successful nan U.S., particularly successful nutrient work locations (like restaurants and cafes),” adds Beauprez, “which grew 39% complete nan past year.” 

“They’re a awesome guidelines for imaginative nutrient ideas,” says Abuelhiga, coupled pinch nan grab-and-go entreaty for parents and others returning to their offices. Plus, arsenic Edge points out, “the inclination for ‘premiumization,’” aliases shoppers looking to elevate their mundane meals (a carryover from location cooking astatine nan tallness of nan pandemic) “is still live and well.”  

3 Liege Waffles to Seek Out

When we opportunity Liege waffles are popping up each complete market stores, we really do mean each over. You tin now find them successful nan freezer, fridge, and breadstuff aliases bakery sections, including nan highly sought-after end-of-aisle displays. You’ll moreover find them successful bulk warehouses (hello, Costco) and online retailers, for illustration Goldbelly. There are good complete a twelve options (all sensation champion lukewarm — a speedy rotation successful nan toaster unlocks nan waffle’s crunchy elements and its aroma). These are 3 to support an oculus retired for connected your adjacent market run.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

1. St. Pierre Brioche Waffles pinch Butter

You whitethorn find different brands connected show successful nan bakery section (some for individual sale), but St. Pierre’s crackling sweet, but subtly and mildly flavored Liege waffles pinch food (lightened pinch a small oil) return nan triumph successful this category. “We make them somewhat thicker for a bigger bite,” Edge shares. Additionally, this brand, known for its luxe brioche bread, makes its waffles pinch its signature mixed — caller yeast, full eggs, and nib aliases pearl sweetener — a awesome differentiator you tin taste, compared to brands who will operation their doughs pinch conscionable granulated sugar.

Buy: St. Pierre Brioche Waffles pinch Butter, $5.99 for 6 astatine Kroger

Credit: Mara Weinraub

2. Kellogg’s Eggo Grab & Go Liege-Style Waffles

The newest waffle from nan iconic marque is nan only 1 successful its statement that doesn’t require reheating nor freezer abstraction (although you whitethorn find it successful nan freezer conception astatine your section grocer). It tin beryllium refrigerated for 15 to 35 days without immoderate degradation of quality, and eaten arsenic soon arsenic it comes to room temperature. The waffles thaw successful nether an hr if you do take to support them frozen.

What sets Eggo supra nan different fridge-chilled brands is nan “unforgettable nostalgia” of nan unique Eggo taste, but pinch a richer spirit and fuller texture, and its readiness successful 3 different flavors. Strawberry and Buttery Maple launched first, giving america nan action of an moreover much flavorful Liege-style waffle, and in May Vanilla Bean joined nan ranks. No different marque is offering this selection, allowing Eggo to predominate pinch options.

Buy: Kellogg’s Eggo Buttery Maple Liege-Style Waffles, $5.99 for 4 waffles astatine Instacart

Credit: Mara Weinraub

3. Mason Dixie Maple Liege Waffles

These are my individual number-one pick. Still, I couldn’t put my digit connected what made these waffles truthful extraordinary. Luckily, Abuelhiga was happy to thief maine grasp precisely why I emotion them truthful much: Not only do they incorporate 100% food and nary oils, but they besides “use pearl sweetener crystals originated straight from Belgium and whole-grain wheat flour for a hearty and satisfying texture.” Mystery solved. It’s nan nutty, deeper flavors, nan much robust crunch, and nan embedding of nan ample nib sweetener and maple and molasses passim nan waffle that creates spectacular “crispy sweetener pockets,” arsenic she calls them.

They besides travel successful an fantabulous apple cinnamon flavor, pinch chunks of ripe consequence pressed into each fragrant waffle. If you want to footwear things up yet different notch, nan institution recently released somewhat thinner Liege waffles successful sandwich shape pinch a savory chickenhearted sausage patty (you’d ne'er conjecture it wasn’t pork!) squeezed successful nan middle. While you tin fto nan waffles travel to room temperature, you’ll request a microwave aliases oven for these sandwiches!

Buy: Mason Dixie Maple Liege Waffles, $6.99 for 4 waffles astatine Amazon