By Camille Birdsong (Assignment for JAC 310, Prof. Waltz. Family members interviewed with permission of professor.)
Waking up and smelling the wonderful scent of breakfast that wafted into his room, Marcus ran downstairs to the kitchen. Sitting at the table, he eagerly waited for breakfast to be served. His mother was holding a large plate of something that smelled rather delicious and made Marcus's mouth water. In front of him were three perfectly golden, round, crispy waffles drizzled with warm maple syrup. Marcus's eyes shimmered with delight; this truly would be a delicious breakfast unlike the soggy, floppy, and slightly undercooked pancakes from last week.
Waffles have been around for a while in the USA, but you've probably heard of Belgian waffles too. Even the "Belgian" waffles that are sold in America aren't the same as those found in Belgium. In fact, according to The Buyers Impact, they're a combination of a few varieties that are popular in towns across the country.
Waffles are usually made in a waffle iron which gives them their distinctive cut and shape, with large square ridges and indents. The Buyers Impact says that Belgian waffles were first introduced to America in the 1950s and 1960s when Walter Cleyman (Belgian of course) began showing them at two World Fairs, first in Belgium and then in Seattle.
Waffles were a hit at the Seattle World Fair and Cleyman sold over 500,000 servings in that expo alone. He eventually created his own waffle house in Seattle after the show finished (maybe that's where Waffle House came from?).
Now, I know what you're thinking, "Pancakes are just as good!" Don't get me wrong, I love pancakes too, and I know they have a rich history (not a rich flavor, however) but waffles are special. Something about them makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Whereas pancakes don't provide the same warmth.
"Waffles are just pancakes with abs when you think about it," said Cristina Birdsong, a member of the Birdsong household.
If there is one thing I know, is that Ms. Cristina Birdsong is always right when it comes to food. Waffles simply are superior and boy, do those "abs" pack a punch.
Take the square waffle for example. According to PopSugar, with its compact squares, the waffle's texture allows for peak topping storage. If you wish for your butter and maple syrup to stay put, then just drizzle them into the waffle's squares and they'll stay in place.
Pancakes are better at soaking up syrup, yes, but I would rather not have soggy breakfast food, and that's what pancakes become after just a short while. With waffles, I am all for those crunchy little squares holding foods like chopped nuts and berries in place. But with pancakes, those tiny things will just fall right off the stack (and maybe onto the floor).
Both plain pancakes and waffles are a little sweet and bready, but according to Chowhound, waffles are more so because they have more butter and sugar in the batter. Plus, they get more caramelized during cooking, so they taste richer and more pastry-like. Doesn't that sound fancy?
Sadly, pancakes can still taste raw and bitter in the middle when not quite cooked through--but even when they're perfect, they're still a bit blander before bringing in the toppings.
Of course, you can't forget about versatility. Waffles win in that category too. When it comes to sweetness, with butter and syrup or whipped cream and berries, waffles are equally matched, but remember that pancakes still have the soggy factor. Both can have extra flavors like gingerbread and vanilla. You can mix things in from chocolate chips to blueberries and beyond, so I'll give pancakes a point too.
But it's the flavor profile that is unmatched. This is mostly thanks to their texture, which––whether they're cheddar waffles, sourdough waffles, or basic buttermilk––can stand up not just to the timeless fried chicken, but even chili or cream gravy. If you're wondering where you find those types of waffles, try your local diner, but if you do, hold on for dear life.
They also make better sandwiches than pancakes do. Want to make a PB&J with waffles instead of bread? I don't, but you can because the glorious waffle will hold your fillings right where they belong.
Lastly, waffles are portable. Well, at least some types are. For example, Eggo waffles are a staple in American households because you can put them in a toaster and eat in on the go. Pancakes: do I even need to ask?
Waffles are amazing and so are pancakes. I enjoy both and I'm sure you do too. Although, its evident that I like one a little bit more than the other. I don't think anything could beat waffles. Except for crepes, but I am not ready for that conversation just yet.