Borrowing things from overseas to sell on our shores is a tricky business. As with any translation, we run the risk of not getting it quite right. Like turning the infinitely-watchable E4 series Skins into a show that no one (save for The Parents Television Council who wants to kill it with fire) cares to watch… or transforming the delicioso Mexican corn-cake-style gordita into the well-known and often-devoured Taco Bell Gordita that is basically a taco made with pita bread. How they made the leap to the Middle East by way of Mexico, I have no idea. I guess, to them, foreign food is foreign food. We’re lucky they didn’t try to stuff haggis in there.
The process of repackaging these things for consumption in the United States is clearly an attempt to make them more palatable for Americans, however unrecognizable they become. But it doesn’t explain why Kellogg’s would revise the Belgian waffle for their Eggo brand by making them toaster-sized instead of plate-sized and octagonal instead of round (or square) and calling them “Thick & Fluffy ” waffles. Did they think consumers wouldn’t understand these waffles if they used the word “Belgian”? They’ve been around for 50 years. I think we get it. Semantics aside, what it really comes down to is whether the waffles have deep pockets and taste good. For the most part, they do.
Eggo Thick & Fluffy waffles come in two flavor varieties: Cinnamon Brown Sugar and Original Recipe. The name “Original Recipe” conjures up visions of crispy, golden fried chicken offered by string-tied Southern gentlemen with dubious military origins, yet as a Roscoe’s devotee, I can attest to the fact that fried chicken does pair well with waffles. Maybe this title wasn’t unintentional.
The Original Recipe waffle was exceptional. It has a certain extra something (probably sodium) that makes the waffle taste extra malty. I scoured the ingredients list and didn’t see anything about malt, though, so I could just be imagining it. Maybe my previous experiences with other Belgian fluffy and thick waffles created an expectation for malt flavor.
On the flip side, I was all ready to love the Cinnamon Brown Sugar waffle, being the brown sugar & cinnamon addict that I am, but it was just OK. The flavor just doesn’t “pop.” It’s not super sweet, but it’s also not very cinnamon-y. Blah Sugar. Cinna-Zzzzz. The experience is underwhelming. Way to not be an enabler, Kellogg’s. I’m one step closer to recovery.
Despite the fact that it’s a toaster waffle, I was expecting preparation to be a breeze. Logistically, it is pretty easy. Place in toaster… Toast… The End. But the toasting instructions specify that you may need to use two toasting cycles in order to evenly heat the waffle. That’s far too long for a toaster-based convenience breakfast. I hate double-toasting. It ruins the feeling of relief you experience once the toaster pops up because as soon as it does, you just have to push it back down again and start all over. It’s totally defeating. Bad way to start the day.
Another negative is that even though these are Thicker & Fluffier, they don’t make you feel any fuller — just the opposite. The extra carbs and sugar you ingest in the thicker waffle make you crash faster… and if you double-up on the serving size (eating two waffles instead of one), it just makes things worse.
That’s another thing. The serving size is just one waffle, but the box shows two. WHY MUST YOU TOY WITH MY EMOTIONS, EGGO??? Sorry, that’s the cinnamon brown sugar withdrawal talking.
I appreciate Eggo’s take on Belgian waffles, though the Original Recipe flavor makes a tastier breakfast than the Cinnamon Brown Sugar one. They should try making crépes next… though they’ll probably call them “Eggo Thin & Flat Pancakes.” How gauche.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 waffle/55 grams – Original Recipe – 160 calories, 70 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, >1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. Cinnamon Brown Sugar – 170 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 270 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, >1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.)
Item: Kellogg’s Eggo Thick & Fluffy Waffles (Original & Cinnamon Brown Sugar)
Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 11.6 oz
Purchased at: Vons
Rating: 10 out of 10 (Original Recipe)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Cinnamon Brown Sugar)
Pros: Corn cakes. Southern gentlemen. Invisible malt. Octagons.
Cons: Witch hunts. Haggis. Understanding waffles. Boring me with cinnamon. The long toast. Small serving size.