Chef Aran's Featured Item of the Week
Warm & Wonderful Waffles
Steam rises from hot waffle irons as freshly made batter cooks to golden crispy perfection, filling the air with a nutty malted aroma. Before students are fully awake, they gather around the waffle irons, patiently waiting their turn to create and customize their perfect waffle. For many, the aroma and anticipation is more powerful than a cup of coffee for awakening the senses and getting the day off to a good start.
What is it about fresh waffles that make them so appealing?
It could be the rich nutty aroma, the warm steam rising from the hot iron, the crisp outside texture combined with the soft interior, or maybe it's just the variety of toppings. Most often for breakfast, you will find butter and syrup to top your waffle. On occasion during weekend brunches, you will see a wide variety of toppings such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, chocolate chips, nuts, whipped cream, and flavored syrups. Sometimes it looks more like a dessert station than a waffle bar.
Do waffles always have to be topped with sweet things?
Waffles can be more than just a vehicle to transport syrup and butter to your mouth. Ingredients for waffles are similar to those of crepes, biscuits, and other breads. An emerging trend that started in Asia (and is now being seen on the west coast of the US in coffee shops and small food stands) is the use of waffles in savory applications.
How about topping your next waffle with smoked salmon and melted cream cheese? That combination seems to work well for bagels, so why not waffles? Or try topping your next waffle with eggs and sausage gravy rather than using a biscuit. Waffles can also be used as bread for sandwiches. More and more, peanut butter and jelly on a waffle is becoming a new household favorite. Other sandwich ingredients work equally as well, and are especially yummy when warmed slightly.
Varieties of waffle recipes have been emerging ever since Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle iron back from France in the 1790's. One waffle combination that definitely has American roots is the classic chicken and waffles. This tradition started at the Wells Supper Club in Harlem which opened in 1938. The dish was supposedly created to serve guests who were at the club too late for dinner but too early for breakfast. The combination of fried chicken and Belgium-style waffles is a comfort food powerhouse.
What makes a belgium-style waffle different from others?
The main difference is size - due to deeper wells and often thicker textured batter. Belgian-style waffles also use yeast in the batter rather than baking powder. This makes the Belgian-style waffle lighter and fluffier than a traditional waffle.
Waffles at UNC
UNC Dining Services takes pride in the quality of the waffles we offer. We're so proud of them, the UNC logo is cooked right into the waffles. Our waffle batter is a special patented blend developed in 1937 by Fred S. Carbon. Today, Belgian waffles made with Carbon’s Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour are served in the finest hotels, restaurants, universities, and theme parks around the world. Enjoy a waffle tomorrow morning at either Tobey-Kendel Dining Room or Holmes Dining Hall.
Executive Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA
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