Waffles or Pancakes?


via: muscleandfitness.com

Andrew Prokop, Managing Editor

It is once again that wonderful time of the week where we attempt to settle common food debates not as much about the taste but application or shape (see Pizza: Triangle or Square-Cut and Ketchup on Fries: Drizzle or Dip). This week a classic debate that is significantly more common than the previous. Waffles or pancakes? Now right away, I will claim that some people might passionately refute. Waffles and pancakes at their core are essentially the same things. There are very slight variations in their ingredients depending on the recipe or desired outcome, but they are so similar that the main difference is how they are created.  

Waffles are pressed on both sides, creating a checkboard style and creating more contact area in order to crisp up and deliver a subtle crunch before the delectable, soft center. On the other hand, Pancakes are delicately poured onto a skillet or griddle until they puff up to perfect golden discs of dough. Both have similar tastes and are primarily transformed from a good meal to a great meal by their toppings. The toppings used by each also have a large overlap, starting with the most common topping of syrup. That is commonly topped with either a variety of fruits or sweets. It is not unheard of to have used a more savory flavor that utilizes meats and/or even cheese.

With those similarities, you may be wondering something that one of my coworkers vocalized, “how does someone like one more than the other? they are basically the same thing.” That same statement was met with a passion just short of yelling as fireworks began to shoot off, and the debates between what makes one better than the other began.

The waffle advocates focus immensely on the crispy exterior as well as the more exciting shape. “The crisp is what separates a waffle from its inferior opponents.” This idea was a solid basis for their argument. While not all waffles can be described as “crisp,” they certainly are crisper than pancakes due to the way they are cooked. One argument I was not expecting from the waffle crew was the attack against the pancake’s shape (after all, they are both generally circular). One coworker stated, “a pancake is just a waffle that gave up. Just flat, round, and thin, how unexciting can you get?” 

The Pancake advocates focus more on the idea of a blank canvas. Many times the pancake was referred to as the ideal breakfast food because it is the perfect starting point for a meal, so why not start your day with it too? One coworker said something that was too good not to share. She described a pancake as “a flat landscape that you can fill with rivers of syrup or mountains of fruit.” The argument was very much against the confinement felt with a waffle by being confined to the small squares trying to fit your toppings into those little cells. Pancake advocates even tried to flip the crisp argument back on waffle advocates as a negative. One argument stated that a pancake’s simple shape gave you more maneuverability than a waffle, “Try rolling up a crispy waffle up and tell me how that goes,” one person stated.

There is always the group stuck in the middle, either because they do not care or for a stranger reason, such as one coworker who said, “Pancakes are better in the morning, waffles are better at night.” Now I would like to explain the reasoning behind this peculiar argument, but I think it is better to leave you wondering as he left me wondering when he said, “that’s just how it is” as he walked back to his cubicle. There were also the people who were adamant that neither are better when compared to French toast or crepes (but that is not how this works).  

I am a pancake guy. I do not have an exact reason why though. I guess if I had to explain it, the simplicity appeals to me. There is no need for some unique kitchen tool. Just a hot, flat piece of metal will suffice in cooking a good pancake.


What side are you on? Leave a comment down below!