Crushing on Waffles

A Belgian culinary delight, waffles have taken over the world with its sheer mouth-watering taste. Made from leavened dough cooked in between two hot iron plates called a waffle iron, these sinfully delicious treats have a characteristic honey-comb structure. Consumed as a between-meals snack or dessert or as a breakfast food, waffles are undoubtedly the swankier cousin of pancakes, and have a strong love affair budding up with the people of Kolkata

A Belgian culinary delight, waffles have taken over the world with its sheer mouth-watering taste. Made from leavened dough cooked in between two hot iron plates called a waffle iron, these sinfully delicious treats have a characteristic honey-comb structure. Consumed as a between-meals snack or dessert or as a breakfast food, waffles are undoubtedly the swankier cousin of pancakes, and have a strong love affair budding up with the people of Kolkata

Over indulgent food might be a millennial thing, but waffles have been around since ancient Greece in the form of Obelios. Later, during the medieval period, wafer irons was first put into use but it wasn’t before the 14th century that the first known waffle recipe was penned down. As time progressed, the wafer irons changed shape, their grooves deepened and the wafers became ‘wafels’. However, it wasn’t before the 18th century that the word made its entry into the English language with the addition of a second ‘f’ in a book by Robert Smith.

The 20th century is an era of exaggeration, and it is in the art of representation that things truly find its meaning in today’s world. Traditionally, waffles were sold by street vendors of Europe and were consumed without any fancy toppings, but all that changed with its foray into the American market and the larger world. It has now become paramount for waffles to be decorated with everything from Nutella, cream cheese and chocolate chips to name a few, and all these started with the first introduction of the maple syrup and butter variant in the US which is now considered a ‘classic’.

Millennial indulgence is indeed the buzzword and something that has brought a foray of waffle makers into the market. Even though waffles had a steady fan following in Kolkata with a number of Cafes serving this delight, it is only in the last seven months that it has really exploded onto the food scene. Their nouveau nature, coupled with their newfound accessibility courtesy the newly launched waffle joints across the city, has initiated a pep and zeal around their drool-worthy concoctions. Kolkata Gen X, Y and Z, always the first ones to navigate the streams of an emerging trend have taken a serious liking to waffles which have resulted in these waffle joints selling anything between 60 to 250 waffles each day.

What’s in a waffle?
The batter for waffles is made by mixing all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, vanilla extract, milk, melted butter and lastly eggs, which are substituted with vegetable oil or unsweetened applesauce in eggless recipes. Unlike in Belgium, waffles around the world are sold with names representing the toppings or add-ons. Chocolate Overload, Berry Fusion, Nutella & Cream Cheese, Red Velvet, etc., are some of the most sought after flavours at any waffle joint. Waffles are essentially sweetened wafer biscuits that have a vanilla scented crispiness to them but it’s the addition of the decadent toppings that have made waffles the phenomenon they are today. While sit-n-dine eateries and cafes have been serving waffles in their regular circular shape, takeaways have taken the game a notch higher with their ‘waff-wich’ or waffle sandwiches where two quadrants of the waffle biscuit are placed atop a creamy gooey centre and are smothered with toppings. The crispy outside coupled with the creamy and gooey inside renders each bite a heavenly texture, “What’s not to like about waffles? It’s got everything I like from Nutella to strawberries and whipped cream and I like giving myself a treat every now and then” gleefully confessed Sanjana, a second year graduation student.

Although deterring from the au naturel style it was consumed earlier, waffles indeed have come a long way. They are wholesome food and internet and social media are abuzz with pictures from various handles eulogizing their decadent goodness. In Kolkata, waffles are priced anywhere between Rs 75-250 with the classic variants being sold under Rs 100. Price increases with toppings and presentation where every outlet is trying to outdo the bar set by the others. With Kolkatans crushing on their scrumptiousness, waffles are indeed the new food sensation, and are pretty much likely to grow in volumes over the coming time.

Waffle Outlets in Kolkata
The Belgian Waffle Co: Bhawanipore
Would you Waffle: Bhawanipore
Waffle Junction: Salt Lake, Sector V
World of Waffles: Salt Lake, Sector I
Waffle Wallah: Park Street
American Waffle House: Lake Gardens
Belgian Waffle Junction: New Alipore

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