Now you might be asking yourself, aren’t these two breakfast foods the same thing? You’d be right partially correct, the noticeable main difference really is the fact that pancakes are flat and waffles aren’t. However, that's not the only reason pancakes and waffles are different. There are many different ways to prepare both of these foods, from Belgian Waffles to Buttermilk Pancakes. Not only the aspect of how they’re made, but also the cultural aspect of where the two famous breakfast dishes come from. Now the question is, how are they really different and which one is better?
First, we’ll start off with the older dish: pancakes. The first mention of pancakes was in Ancient Greece during 1100 AD. They were originally called “teganites” or “teganias” which come from the word “tageon” which means frying pan. However, the more modern American-style pancakes we all know and love weren’t made until the 15th century. These pancakes were most likely a more sweet version of the modern pancake’s predecessor, the “Johnnycake”. There are currently over 100 different ways to cook and enjoy a pancake across the world.
Next up is the younger dish of waffles. The first documented recipe of waffles was made in the 14th century in Ancient Greece as well. However, documents suggest that waffles have been made since the middle ages. Ancient cooks would cook the waffles the same way as pancakes, just with a wooden template to create the “holes”. In the 15th century, the more modern version of the waffle was made by the Dutch. It was also credited that the Dutch also brought the waffle recipe to the US. There are currently 28 waffle recipes over the world, including the U.S. and the Dutch.
Despite the fact that pancakes have been around longer than waffles, people still enjoy waffles more. This is most likely because there is more butter and eggs in waffle batter than pancake batter.
Photo credits to Frank Wouters from Antwerpen, Belgium - Flickr, CC BY 2.0