These wafels are light and crispy, with a subtle vanilla flavor. They maybe square or the maybe round, but even when they're round, they are still not pancakes. We Belgians are great at two things - making of the wafels and riding of the bicycles. Since I don't know how to put a bicycle in a box, I'm introducing De Kompleet Wafel Kit.
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New York, NY (Vocus) October 27, 2009
Wafels & Dinges continues its chaotic mission to bring Belgian waffles to America. "Our truck customers kept asking for our recipe, but we didn't get permission from the Belgian Ministry of Culinary Affairs to just give it away. That is a shame, but when the King of Belgium wants it a certain way, I have to go along. So what we've done instead is create a nice red box with our Kompleet Wafel Kit - Brussels Style in it," said founder Thomas DeGeest.
First, he made the unusual career move of leaving a six-figure salary as a consultant with IBM to become, of all things, a street vendor. Less than two years later, he was recognized as the best dessert maker at the prestigious NYC Vendy Awards in 2009. Now, Thomas DeGeest continues to pursue his mission as "Special Envoy for Wafels" to bring authentic Belgian waffles to people all across America.
"We continue to submit excellent progress reports to the Department of Wafels at the Belgian Ministry of Culinary Affairs," he says. "That includes our recent win of the 2009 Vendy Awards for best NYC street dessert."
"May I be very clear? Belgians tend to be rather particular about this, but in Belgium waffles are a very different story than pancakes. What we have here is 100% Brussels Wafel Mix, we are not hiding any pancakes or crepes in this box," DeGeest added.
"These wafels are light and crispy, with a subtle vanilla flavor. They maybe square or the maybe round, but even when they're round, they are still not pancakes. We Belgians are great at two things - making of the wafels and riding of the bicycles. Since I don't know how to put a bicycle in a box, I'm introducing De Kompleet Wafel Kit."
The kit contains the same recipe that Thomas DeGeest uses in his iconic Wafels & Dinges truck on the streets of New York. "Preparation on the streets of NYC must be fast and easy - our truck is about the size of the average NYC kitchen. I like to call it 'idioot-proof.' So everything you need is already in the box. Running back to the store for the eggs or the milk is not going to be necessary."
Produced by a local mill upstate New York, the product will be available in gourmet food stores across the U.S. in 16-oz. boxes, which make about 15 wafels. Wafelettes & wafeleurs (as the Waffle-guy calls his customers) simply add water and air, and the batter is ready. After baking for 3 to 4 minutes in a wafel iron, consumers can add their own dinges, such as fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate fudge, Nutella, butter and syrup, or simple powdered sugar. Adding at least 3 dinges onto the wafels creates what the Waffle Guy calls a WMD (Waffle of Massive Deliciousness). "Do try this at home," DeGeest says.
Wafels & Dinges became a food phenomenon by serving light, crisp rectangular Brussels wafels, along with sweet, round and chewy Liège wafels from an iconic truck painted in the colors of the Belgian flag. DeGeest believed he could make a living selling the treats because he had a hard time finding satisfying wafels here in the U.S. and knew that Americans would love to eat the real thing. Topped with assorted dinges (toppings or "whatchamacallits" in Flemish), the Wafelmeister's products impressed "foodies" and other New Yorkers who know a good thing when they taste one.
"Belgian" Waffles in America:
A true Brussels wafel is lighter than its American counterpart because it uses yeast. The love story between America and Belgian wafels began at the 1964 New York World's Fair, where the Brussels Wafel was renamed "The Belgian Waffle" because Americans might not be familiar with Belgium's capital city. Forty-five years later, at the New York's World's Fair site, Thomas DeGeest's Wafels & Dinges was named best dessert maker at the 2009 Vendy Awards, the annual competition among NYC mobile food vendors.
In October 2007, Thomas DeGeest, a native of Belgium who missed eating the tasty snacks he remembered fondly from his youth, left his job as an IBM consultant to make authentic Brussels (AKA Belgian) and Liège wafels on the streets of New York City. Starting with an iconic yellow truck, the business has expanded into catering corporate parties, weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. With the introduction of De Kompleet Wafel Kit, Wafels & Dinges will be available this fall at gourmet food shores across the country. To learn more, visit http://www.wafelsanddinges.com or call (646) 257-2592.
*High res photos available upon request