Belgian Gallettes

Traditional Belgian Gallettes

Gallettes (traditional Belgian waffles) 

The best recipes are those that come with a story. Those are the recipes that have been passed along for generations and bring back old memories and time-honored traditions with every bite. It’s no surprise that Door County has its fair share of family recipes when it comes to cherry bounce, cherry pie, and homemade fudge, but there’s a community filled with traditional Belgian recipes, handed down for generations straight from those who emigrated as the County was beginning to grow.

This month’s recipe for traditional Belgian waffles called gallettes, comes from the Belgian Heritage Center. Listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, the Namur Historic District is the largest Belgian settlement in the United States. And the Belgian Heritage Center, along with the Door County Historical Society works to preserve and celebrate the area’s rich Belgian culture. One way in which they preserve the culture is through food. This recipe comes from Honoraine (Tassoul) Granius who emigrated from Belgium at the age of 9, provided by her granddaughter, Christine Chaudoir.

It’s customary to eat gallettes on New Year’s Day while visiting relatives and friends. It is a day for giving and receiving gifts. This tradition continued among the Belgian settlers in Wisconsin. Resident Barb Maskell says, "Growing up in a Belgian home, waffles were always eaten soaked in milk and sprinkled with sugar," and Janice (Englebert) Zittow remembers, "Growing up they always had waffles on New Year's Day."

Explore the Belgian culture in Wisconsin further with one of the Belgian Roadside Chapel bus tours and pay a visit to the Belgian Heritage Center. A Belgian waffle breakfast will be held at there on Sunday, June 29 from 9:00 to 1:00.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tblsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until blended. Grease waffle griddle with lard. Bake in hot Belgian waffle iron until golden brown.  Serve with hot whole milk poured over the waffles.

View the full May 2016 Newsletter here.