There are two fundamental types of waffle in American eateries: Belgian and small-tread. Small-tread is the old-fashioned kind, now scarce in restaurants (except for the popular Waffle House chain throughout the South). At their best, small-tread waffles balance crisp edge and tender center and their tread’s vast number of little square receptacles can hold massive amounts of butter and syrup. Belgians are different. Most of the ones you find are thick and doughy – merely a vehicle for fruit, chocolate, or ice cream. But a true Belgian waffle (popularized in this country at the Seattle World’s Fair of 1962 and the New York World’s Fair of 1964) is one of life’s culinary joys. There are two main types of authentic Belgian waffle: the Brussels waffle, which is crisp and elegant, and the Liege waffle, which is soft, chewy, and dotted with sugar pearls that melt into veins of caramelized sweetness.

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