It began with chicken and waffles — a seemingly odd pairing but a satisfying introduction to the possibilities of the savory waffle. Then culinary innovators across the country cooked up a waffle craze, inventing creative waffle dishes every which way.
The savory waffle is a fairly new concept in the States, but in Belgium, it’s a centuries-old, beloved dish. You might say the Belgian tradition of preparing sweet and savory waffles inspired waffle makers in America to think up the phenomenon known as waffle hybrids.
Concoctions like Taco Bell’s breakfast Waffle Taco — sausage (or bacon) and eggs in a folded waffle and drizzled with maple syrup — the Waffogato (a take on the traditional Affogato dessert) by Dominique Ansel, and the Waffalafel, a waffle-falafel sandwich hybrid discovered by editors at Serious Eats, are some of the more iconic hybrids that took off with the waffle trend. Others like the Daffle/Wonut — a donut shaped like a waffle — and the hash brown waffle, created by grilling hash browns in a waffle iron, are a little less known at the moment but have just as much potential to begin a waffle revolution or take the place of the Cronut.
The foie gras-waffle hybrid, invented by chef Jarrett Appell at New York City’s Stella 34 Trattoria, is made by mixing foie gras into the batter and is spread with foie gras butter.
Known as the Lancaster Okonomiyaki, the scrapple waffle is Ivan Orkin’s (of Ivan Ramen) latest creation. It’s made of scrapple, loaded with shredded cabbage and pickled apple, and streaked with Kewpie mayonnaise and fruity Bulldog sauce.
Haley Willard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter @haleywillrd.