When I left Belgium I could say 2 things perfectly in French: Bonne Nuit & Gaufres. Standards, we all got them.
Before Belgium my experience with waffles was limited to eggos. During this trip I learned about all the wonderful things Belgium has to offer a person’s stomach – Special K with chocolate curls, nutella, pain au chocolate, waffles, and the wonderful Tarte au Riz. I would seriously go back to Belgium just for a slice of Tarte au Riz.
[Side note: when I came back I constantly confused “Tarte au Riz” with “Tourtiere” because I never saw the name written down, the two sound alike, and I’m not good with French. They are not the same thing – trust me.]
But this is not about the wonderfulness of the Tarte au Riz, this is about waffles. With the exception of a few places I had a waffle in every city/town I visited. It was for scientific purposes, I swear.
- Malmedy – plain. My first waffle and ohdeargod was it good. It was plain, but I suspect that it had some of that pearl sugar I hear about, which would make it a Liege waffle. It was sweet, warm and wonderful. And then Carnival happened, but still… waffle…
- Brussels – whipped cream, strawberries, chocolate sauce. I went all out for this one. It was good, but I noticed that all the toppings made it more difficult to taste the actual waffle. It’s also messier to eat while walking along the streets.
- Verviers – plain. I decided to ditch the toppings and go back to the plain style, but this was not as good as the waffle from Malmedy. It was quite plain and did not have the hint of sweetness (which is probably good if you don’t have a sweet tooth like me, but I like my sweets).
- Brugge – lemon curd. The Brugge waffle was the most different, perhaps because it was the first one we ordered in and not through a take-out street vendor. It was a larger waffle that needed a plate. The lemon was dripped into the pockets, for better coverage. It was good, but I was glad I ordered a topping instead of trying it plain.
[Side note #2: I’ve since done some research on wikipedia about Waffles and it has both enlightened me about the variety of waffles and made me hungry.]
In the past few years I’ve tried to find the same kind of waffle as the one I had in Malmedy and my success has been so-so. I found a place that sold Liege waffles on the Halifax waterfront, but they’ve since closed down (boo). At the Halifax Farmer’s Market you can find waffles similar to those in Brugge, with different flavours of jams or icing sugar to fill the pockets with. The search continues.
I have yet to find a place that sells Tarte au Riz.