Of course many cultures have waffles, and the Belgians are famous for it. I know that if you go back far enough many so-called Russian Mennonites originate in the Dutch (Flemish) part of Belgium. I have ancestors born in Ghent, for example. So, I’m not sure if this Mennonite waffle thing dates back that far or not. And our waffles are quite different than those you find in Belgium today. (They’re both delicious!) However it came into our culture, I’m glad for it.
In case you’re unfamiliar, the “Mennonite” waffle is usually heart-shaped. In fact, many of the wood-fired ovens in historic Mennonite buildings around Manitoba have heart-shaped waffle-irons built right in. The waffle itself is delicious, but what really sets it apart is the amazing “white sauce.” It’s sweet, thick, white, and fantastic!
Of course, you can make them on your own, but I love the waffles from the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach. This year they introduced the new Waffle Barn for special events like Steinbach’s Summer in the City.
The batter is poured onto heart-shaped cast-iron stoves as pictured above.
Then the white sauce is dumped on. At the MHV waffle barn you can also order it with strawberries or blueberries and other toppings, but I like to go for the classic!