Have just enough Bisquick to make one more meal? Here’s why it should be a batch of waffles.
Myranda: Waffles versus pancakes, one of the world’s largest and oldest debates, and yet, the one with the most straightforward of answers. Hours could be spent arguing the pointless battle of which breakfast item consisting of almost the same ingredients is better than the other, but when that batter can create something as heavenly as waffles, it is not even a debate.
The waffle has evolved much over our timeline, growing from the simple breakfast dish served at the 2,100 Waffle Houses in the United States. Flattened down to be ice cream cones or stroopwafel, rolled or topped with ice cream to create a new dessert, the waffle is a blank canvas for bakers to experiment with.
Belgian waffles, toaster waffles and American waffles are only a few of the numerous waffle interpretations that have modernized over the last few centuries across a large number of countries. It is said waffles have their origins as far back as the medieval times, where printed metal plates were used to ingrain a texture into the cooking batter. This was especially used by the Greeks, proving that waffles are a recipe that can truly last lifetimes and make it over oceans.
Part of what makes waffles so massively unique is that they can be sweet or savory. Ever heard of chicken and pancakes? No, it’s chicken and waffles. You could get your waffles covered in chocolate sauce or mixed berries for a sweet flavor, but on the opposite end of that, you could equally get it paired with a protein for a more savory taste.
The taste of a waffle is special in itself. While pancakes can become mush in your mouth from their flat exterior and lack of texture, a waffle is nearly incapable of that. Having crispy edges yet a soft center is a magnificent balance, having just enough texture to make the tongue content.
The griddled surface adds to that texture. Each little hole in the waffle is able to save its own small cup of syrup or sauce. With pancakes, it runs off the food and onto the plate, making things too sticky. With waffles, the small cups of griddle pattern can store the toppings until the waffle is cut into, ready to enjoy.
I’m not saying the pancake is not good. Pancakes, hotcakes and crepes are all delicious and can be enjoyed; it is simply that they have nothing on long-term enjoyment like the waffle. In a case of batter texture, topping ratio and variability in dishes, the waffle is elite.
In contrast to the highbrow waffle-makers, pancakes speak to the true American spirit.
Zach: What force compels us to thirst for structure so strongly? Does the longing for understanding in a cruel and unpredictable world bear us this curse, or has capitalist society finally broken us into believing that everything must have rigid definitions?
Herein lies the question at the heart of the pancakes and waffles debate. Teachers instilled in us from day one to follow rules and cross our t’s and dot our i’s, but an art form such as food need not suffer such restrictions. A delicious batter needs to press to the end of its own boundaries of viscosity, to set at its own thickness, and to determine its own fate. Conversely, a waffle iron kills such notions of liberty before they ever have the chance to sprout. This autocratic technology forces all batters to conform to the same size and shape and leaves no room for varying ratios of crunch ends to fluffy centers; all is standardized crunch in waffle world.
Moreover, this stiff, bastardized rehashing of the flawless pancake comes from just another one of corporate America’s dastardly schemes. Pancakes, so simple to make, requiring just a skillet, a mixing bowl and spatula, limited the profits of our capitalist overlords too greatly, it seems. Instead, assuming most consumers already possessed a skillet, this insidious plan attempted to convince millions of people that they have to have a new, singularly specialized kitchen appliance to make waffles instead of the simple pancake. Now, far too many people wake up in the morning to enjoy this inferior good as white men in suits sit in their corner offices and rake in the dough.
To make matters even worse, waffles kill one of America’s greatest traditions: the griddle breakfast. Consider the following. Joe Schmoe, a hard-working man just trying to feed his family and save for a place in a nice retirement village, works a corner diner right here in the Midwest, the heart of the nation. He wakes before the cock crows and fires up the griddle, throwing on some bacon and frying eggs in the grease, some sausage to make some gravy, and some toast to go with the preserves his wife made from the strawberries she grew in the summer. Then his two kids, a twelve year-old boy with red hair and freckles and a nine year-old girl in pigtails missing one of her two front teeth, enter into the kitchen and ask if they can have something to eat. He says sure and makes them some pancake batter to throw on his griddle. Trick is, they don’t want pancakes anymore. All the kids at school eat waffles now and their teacher tells them that Twitter has canceled pancakes. What happens now? His kids despise him, his wife leaves him, and the Belgian Waffle House steals all of his business. He’s now a workless man with no family to feed and no hopes of that little place at Del Boca Vista.
Waffles don’t just epitomize the influence of art-hating, structure-loving, money-grubbing evil capitalists, they hurt the backbone of the economy and contribute to the moral decline of the greatest country ever. If you love art, the blue-collar man, or America, then you love pancakes. Don’t let the liberals ever tell you otherwise.