As I work on my waffles, I often think of how I will, some day, publish a waffle book. Odds are it will just be an extremely well-composed Amazon eBook, never to be published in print. After all, I don’t think any publisher wants to put out an all-metric waffle recipe and history book. But I think the world needs one so that the old recipes (and meticulously written versions of modern recipes) are put in one place and so that the arc of waffle history is laid out.

Over the last few months, I’ve been tinkering with some of the book’s sections. All-told, I think I am going to have a foreword, introduction, history, ingredients, technique, classic recipes, and modern recipes section. Then there will be two appendixes – one for maple syrup and another of the truly old recipes that I’ll just want to have in the book to record the old French, Dutch, Belgian, and German work for ever and all time. Anyway, below is what I feel is a solid pass at the opening of the ingredients section…

“When you eat a waffle, you’re not just tasting a waffle. On some level, you’re tasting every individual ingredient. You’re also tasting the interplay of those ingredients – experiencing the proportions of them, relative to one another. And you’re tasting how the iron altered the characteristics of the more significant elements of the batter or dough – most notably the flour, egg and dairy. Ingredient quality is, as in all cooking, truly the backbone of what you’re creating.

You can have a killer recipe, flawless technique, and even a $3000 iron, but if you’re cooking with mediocre ingredients, you’re going to produce a mediocre waffle. So before we begin to delve into the recipes and the techniques that underlie them, it’s crucial that we explore how our ingredients are chosen.