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Waffles
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A waffle is a batter- or dough-based cake cooked in a waffle iron patterned to give a distinctive and characteristic shape. There are many variations based on the type and shape of the iron and the recipe used. American waffles[1] are made from a batter leavened with baking powder. They are usually served as a sweet breakfast food, topped with butter and various syrups, but are also found in many different savory dishes, such as fried chicken and waffles or topped with kidney stew.[2]They may also be served as desserts, topped with ice cream and various other toppings. They are generally denser and thinner than the Belgian waffle. Waffles were first introduced to North America in 1620 by Pilgrims who brought the method from Holland. Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle iron from France, and waffle frolics or parties became popular in the late eighteenth century. The Belgian, or Brussels waffle,[3] is prepared with a yeast-leavened batter. It is generally, but not always, lighter, thicker, and crispier and has larger pockets compared to other waffle varieties. In Belgium, it is served warm by street vendors, dusted with confectioner's sugar, and sometimes topped with whipped cream or chocolate spread. In America, it is served in the same ways the American waffle is served. Belgian waffles were introduced to America by restaurateur Maurice Vermersch, who sold his Brussels waffles under the name "Bel-Gem Waffles" at New York's 1964 World's Fair. The Liège waffle[4] (from the city of Liège, in eastern Belgium) is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. Invented by the chef of the prince-bishop of Liège in the 18th century as an adaptation of brioche bread dough, it features chunks of pearl sugar, which caramelizes on the outside of the waffle when baked. It is the most common type of waffle available in Belgium and is prepared in plain, vanilla and cinnamon varieties by street vendors across the nation. Hong Kong style waffle, in Hong Kong called a "grid cake" or "grid biscuits" (???), is a waffle usually made and sold by street hawkers and eaten warm on the street.[5] It is similar to a traditional waffle but larger, round in shape and divided into four quarters. It is usually served as a snack. Butter, peanut butter and sugar are spread on one side of the cooked waffle, and then it is folded into a semicircle to eat. Eggs, sugar and evaporated milk are used in the waffle recipes, giving them a sweet flavor. They are generally soft and not dense. Traditional Hong Kong style waffles are full of the flavor of yolk. Sometimes different flavors, such as chocolate and honey melon, are used in the recipe and create various colors. Two stroopwafelsStroopwafels (Dutch: syrup waffles) are thin waffles with a syrup filling. They were first made in Gouda in the Netherlands during the 18th or 19th century. The stiff batter for the waffles is made from flour, butter, brown sugar, yeast, milk, and eggs. Medium-sized balls of batter are put on the waffle iron. When the waffle is baked and while it is still warm, it is cut into two halves. The warm filling, made from syrup, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, is spread in between the waffle halves, which glues them together.[6] They are popular in Belgium and the Netherlands. Scandinavian style waffles are thin waffles made in a heart-shaped waffle iron and are common throughout the Nordic countries. The batter is similar to other varieties. The most common style are sweet waffles with whipped or sour cream and strawberry jam, but also with berries on top. In Norway, brown cheese is also a popular topping. As with crèpes, there are those who prefer a salted style with different mixes, such as blue cheese. In Finland, savory waffles are uncommon. Jam, sugar, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream are usually put on top of waffles. The Swedish tradition of eating waffles dates back to before the 16th century, and there is a particular day dedicated to the waffle, called Våffeldagen, which occurs on Lady Day, i.e., between 22 and 28 March.