Monday, May 01, 2006

Waffles with Bacon and Maple Syrup

I first tried this at breakfast at Le Chateâu Frontenac in Québec City. Maybe it was the grandeur of the dining room of this magnificent old Canadian Pacfic Hotel, maybe the cold, sharp late Spring air, but one taste and I was a goner. Theoretically, it was initially an improbable combination to my taste buds. Salty bacon, sweet syrup – no, it will clash and jangle and divide into breakfast and dessert in the one mouthful. But I’ll try anything once. Watching the breakfast chef, white hat almost as tall as the spires of the Chateâu, pour batter into the iron and expertly flick out piping hot, crisp, fresh waffles, whetted my appetite anyway. Mandolin thin, golden, brittle smoked bacon is laced on top and drenched in proper maple syrup, gathered by a gnarled old Québecois with a smouldering Gitanes hanging out his mouth, trudging through the snow up to a sugar shack. Ok, well maybe not the gnarled old man, but it was real syrop d’erables.

The combination of tastes and textures is amazing. Waffles that crackle in your mouth, the salty sting and crunchy rustle of bacon, the velvet nutty sweetness of the syrup cloaking your tongue. It’s luscious. Definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, as with most simple cooking. Now, when I want a big breakfast I go for this dish every time. I’ve created many converts to it and serve it with (if anything) the soft curds of creamy scrambled eggs on the side. I get thin sliced bacon (available from David Jones) because it’s lighter, and when grilled is crunchier than normal cut bacon.


Anonymous deborah said...

one of my fav combinations - salty and sweet. isnt the the frontenac a beautiful hotel. i stayed there in november 2004 and loved every bit of it. it definitely made for a nice (temporary) change from backpacker hostels i had stayed for the rest of my trip in canada ... although the backpacker we stayed in for the first few days in quebec was quite nice.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

I've yet to try this oft-mentioned combo, but I admit it, I'm bay-curious. It does sound so wrong, but then honey glazed ham tastes so good...

12:24 PM  
Blogger paradise said...

ugh, that does not look good but i'd try anything once as well.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Reb said...

Thanks Deborah - at least there's one person out there to validate my insanity on this dish! And yes the CF is just so lush, a real treat.

Close you eyes and trust in the taste Helen - it won't let you down!

And good on you for considering giving it a go Paradise.

7:09 AM  

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