The Gaucho Gazette

Breakfast Food for Thought

Jacob Anderson, Page editor, artist, reporter

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    It’s an age-old debate that has been raging for centuries, one which holds the power to destroy friendships and cripple even the strongest of relationships, and one with no definitive answer. That is, until now.

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the answer to the question that has baffled and perplexed brunch lovers everywhere, dividing the breakfast community, the question that single handedly started the war to end all wars:

    Which is better, pancakes or waffles?

    After countless grueling hours analyzing facts, crunching numbers, and filling every notebook in my possession with lists of pros and cons, I was finally able to derive a conclusive result, a clear victor emerging from the chaos.

    In short, the short stack wins. And here’s why.

    The fact is, in addition to being a breakfast favorite, the pancake has established itself as the international breakfast favorite, with dozens of variations of the classic breakfast cake spanning the globe, from Austria’s kaiserschmarrn to Malaysia’s apam balik. What do waffles have? Belgium, America, and frankly, not much else.

    Assessing the individual forms of the two competitors proved to be rather difficult, so I decided to break down the evaluation into four subcategories: stackability, topping capacity, cooking process, and creativity scope.

    So how exactly do the two contenders stack up? Well, while waffles have a shape and diameter that remains constant, allowing them to stack more evenly, pancakes take the cake for this one. Their thin, light structure allows for a more elegant and easy-to-cut-through tower. Not to mention, it’s far more socially acceptable to eat a stack of five or six pancakes while in public. Go out and do the same with waffles, and I guarantee all the heads in that IHOP will be turning your way in disbelief.

    Some would argue that the gridded texture of the waffle’s surface is the perfect canvas on which to lay your topping masterpiece. Those people are wrong. Pancakes are permeable, meaning the syrup you put on not only spreads across its entire surface but also absorbs the flavor while still retaining its fluffiness. To fill all the little holes in a waffle takes much more syrup than would be sufficient for a pancake. Spreading toppings on pancakes is a breeze, but try spreading butter evenly on a waffle. As an added bonus, you can mix your toppings into pancakes–waffles, not so much. Put chocolate chips in a waffle and you’ll be scrubbing that iron for months.

    Which brings us to cooking process. I’m just going to put it out there: waffle irons are kind of the worst. Cleaning them is a hassle, and to get a decent one is quite an investment. Conversely, all you need to whip a pancake together is a pan and the batter. You can cook pancakes exactly how you like them–from barely browned to deep golden hues, and everywhere in between.

    Speaking of, the creative range of waffles is practically non-existent compared to that of pancakes. Have you ever seen waffle art? A waffle pen? Waffles shaped in the likeness of legendary actor Leonardo DiCaprio? Exactly.

    So, in the end, while it cannot be denied that both adversaries are overwhelmingly delicious, only one could claim the title of Ultimate Breakfast Champion. And it’s pancakes.

    Debate over.

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Breakfast Food for Thought