The batter-based flat cake with the signature honeycomb pattern has come a long way since maple syrup and ice cream were needed to complete the dish.
As with everything, it has undergone a make-over.
Waffles are usually a great breakfast treat. However, it has taken over many restaurant menus with a variety of interesting toppings, and can even make for a great lunch - and even supper treat.
Whether you like yours sweet or savoury, there is a waffle for every palate.
While the toppings are always changing, the crispy waffle is always the star of the show.
Toppings include nearly anything from a sweet chocolate mousse and ice cream or lemon meringue and berries, to something savoury like cheese and mushrooms or a bobotie with fried egg, as offered at Cape Town’s The Yard restaurant.
At Nom Nom, restaurant in Somerset West, their ham waffle is served with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, and for something more filling there is their pork and waffle with bacon jam, apple and duck egg.
Jessy Berry, owner of Jessy’s Waffles, says its popularity has grown because “artisanal dessert is what more people are looking for”.
“It’s just like a savoury pancake, if you can have a savoury pancake then you can also have a savoury waffle. It’s not just about the plain and simple, people want something different,” she says.
“What’s more is that waffles can be enjoyed any time of the day, not just at breakfast. It’s great for lunch or even supper too. A savoury waffle is great for lunch and supper, but some people prefer something sweet at dinner time so they can have it with a sweet topping as well. It’s for any occasion.”
When it comes to waffles and creating the perfect topping, less is definitely more, explains George Cholakov from the Big Bay Waffle Company.
“At our shop people can customise their own waffle and while there are no rules, when it comes to topping a waffle, I would suggest no more than two to three toppings including a sauce,” he says.
“If you add anything more than that you don’t taste the waffle, which is supposed to be the hero. Some people add too many toppings and then they don’t get to finish it,” he says.
Cholakov adds: “You can often see people’s change in (preference) according to the seasons.
“At Easter and Christmas time people lean towards the more savoury toppings, and in the colder months people prefer toppings like hot chocolate.”
Waffles are great for sharing and, no doubt, a versatile treat the family can enjoy.