What will you do if you have only one night in Brussels? Sightseeing for sure! Grand Palace, Manneken Pis, Atomium and of course don’t forget to enjoy the chocolate, waffle, beer, and fries. That’s all what we did in Brussels as part of our Easter holiday trip this year, Netherlands, Brussels and Paris.
Belgium is known for Chocolate, Waffle, Beer and Fries. As we stayed in the center of Brussels tourist area, Grand Palace, we were overwhelmed with so many chocolate shops at each and every corner of that area. Even for a chocolate lover, you could feel overwhelmed with so many options from the types of chocolate, flavors, and the various brands. All looks delicious, beautiful and seductive made you want to stop and tempted to buy simply because they look so beautiful.
It was such a wonderful experience to window shopped all the chocolates. Oh yes, we bought some to samples and somehow compared them with our favorite brand Leonidas. I think everybody has their own taste (and chocolate brands) but it looks like all the favorites not far from the three major Belgian brands; Neuhaus, Leonidas and Godiva – which made them looks “rival” to each other. (Well, I may write a special article of these three different brands later). In addition to window shopping, you can also learn all about Chocolate from the Chocolate Museum. Unfortunately at the time of our visit we could not get in as there was a group tour at that time and it was closed for other visitors for a while.
Nevertheless, I was personally more excited to taste the waffle rather than the chocolate. As many people say that Belgian Waffle is the best. Well, I will not believe it till I sampled myself to experience what it makes so special about this waffle? Just like chocolate shops, there were many shops and street vendors sell waffle. Again, so many choices so at first we wondered which one to choose? Without any recommendation, we just random picked at least based on the number of people queuing .
Aha, those were the topping options for your waffle, look yummy but high in fat J. With those kind of topping, I thought I would not be able to taste the original flavor of the waffle. After I ordered one waffle topped with whipped cream and melted dark chocolate for my daughter, one topped with melted white and dark chocolate for my husband, I order the plain one, without any topping. Hmmm, it was very nice. It’s crunchy outside, but soft and fluffy inside, yeasty (you can smell the yeast) and the sweetness’ came from the outside part, not from the dough, and for me it’s perfect on its own.
But do you know what? That was not the real Belgian waffle. Pardon me? It’s not?! So where is the real one ? What does it look like ?
I knew this later from the second waffle shop that I visited the next day. I saw two types of plain waffle they called Original and Belgium waffle, and the one that we ate a day before was the original one which I recognized from the waffle shape. Oh it was too bad I did not have any change to take a picture of that waffle. According to the lady in the shop, she said that the real Belgian waffle is actually called Brussels waffle, which is the taste, is lighter than the original waffle. Meanwhile they called the original waffle as Liege waffle. Unless you were on diet, Brussels waffle is highly recommended to eat with toppings. Also Brussels waffle is lighter in taste because made from a batter not from dough.
So some (immediate) summary 🙂
Liege waffle, is made from dough, has oval shape, smaller size than the Brussels waffle, golden brown in color with caramelized sugar outside. It’s usually served warm and nice to enjoy for its self ( plain without any topping) but even more delicious if you add some topping such as melted chocolate, fruits and whipped cream or whatever you like.
Belgian waffle is made from batter, has rectangular shape, quite big, golden yellow in color (looks more pale compare to Liege waffle). It’s much recommended to eat with any topping you like.
Probably, since Liege waffle tastier than Brussels waffle so many people choose Liege Waffle, and since they eat the waffle in Belgium, so tourist in general called it Belgian Waffle. Make sense, hah ?! 🙂
So, if you have a change to visit Brussels, don’t forget to sample these two types of waffle and you don’t have to wait until breakfast or dessert, because in Belgium waffle is served at anytime.
Oops, one more thing. Based on the suggestion from our hotel receptionist, the waffle price before Grand Palace is more expensive ( €2 ). So just walk a little bit passing the Grand Palace, you will find €1 waffle for each. But we aware that €1 is for plain one (original), if you want some topping, you should pay per topping. You are a tourist anyway, an extra 2-3 Euros extra may be worth it to experience new taste. Enjoy !