American waffles are denser and thinner than Belgian waffles. Unlike the Belgian varieties that are leavened with yeast, they are leavened with baking powder. Berries or chocolate drops may be mixed into the batter, much like American pancakes. American waffles are generally eaten for breakfast, again like pancakes, and are often topped with butter, maple syrup, bacon, honey or fruit. They are sometimes also eaten with chicken, fish or stews.
Although there are small differences between waffles eaten in the Scandinavian countries, they are similar in shape. Scandinavian waffles are generally heart-shaped and topped with a wide range of sweet and savoury things. Popular toppings, which vary by country, include whipped cream, sour cream, jams, berries, sugar, ice cream, salmon and cheese.
Syrup waffles, officially called stroopwafels, are little sweet waffles that are popular in Belgium and the Netherlands. They were invented in the town of Gouda in the Netherlands, which is also renowned for its cheese. The waffles are made from a thick batter that is cooked on a waffle iron. After cooking, when the waffle is still warm, it is cut in half and filled with a layer of syrup. The sticky syrup then glues the two halves back together. Sold in packets in many stores in the Low Countries, syrup waffles are eaten like cookies.
The Brussels waffle is internationally referred to as the Belgian waffle, even though there are several different varieties of Belgian waffles. A Brussels waffle is characterised by larger and deeper pockets than other waffles and is much lighter and crisper. Often served as a dessert or snack, a Brussels waffle doesn’t need any other garnish than simply a dusting of powdered sugar. It may, however, also be served with a topping of chocolate sauce, fruit and/or whipped cream.
A pizzelle is essentially a waffle cookie, made in Italy from a batter that is flavoured with ingredients such as anise, lemon zest or vanilla. Cooked in a typical pizzelle iron, a pizzelle has a typical decorative pattern and is a flat, crispy cookie that is sometimes sprinkled with sugar.
Popular in Great Britain and Ireland, potato waffles are essentially a waffle-shaped version of potato pancakes. They are vastly different from the batter- and dough-based waffles that are eaten elsewhere in the world.
Liège waffles are associated with the town of Liège in Wallonia, the southern part of Belgium. This is the second major type of waffle in Belgium, a lot different from the Brussels waffle. A Liège waffle is denser, much richer and sweeter. It can be considered as Belgium’s equivalent of a doughnut; something that is eaten with your hands as a snack. Liège waffles feature chunks of sugar that caramelise when the batter gets cooked in the waffle iron.