Is there a pancakes vs. waffles debate? I love all my breakfast foods equally and I never really thought of the two being in opposition, just different. However my wife has a clear preference for waffles and always highlights their qualities in relation to how pancakes are lacking in those areas (crispness being the chief characteristic). Some poking around the internet turned up this fascinating report by the International Markets Bureau of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, a division of the Canadian government. Obviously our syrup producing neighbors to the north have a vested interest in knowing American breakfast habits.
The report looks at pancake, waffle, and french toast consumption among markets that consume both 20% above and below the average amount of these delicious breakfast foods. For those consuming 20% more than the average, larger families tend to be more likely to make pancakes, which makes sense; pancakes are quicker to make and depending on how big they are you can make several at a time. I’d like to think that those families would be willing to give these pumpkin buckwheat waffles a try.
Households consuming waffles tend to have older children and a greater total income. This again is pretty logical, you need disposable income to buy a waffle maker whereas pancakes are…well…made in a pan. The Midwest states (in East-North and West-North Central divisions) are responsible for 30.1% of pancake and 28.3% of waffles consumption in the US.
States on the East and West coasts eat higher percentages of waffles. Which, if you’re considering economic factors as a chief indicator of choice it makes sense since income in the US is heavily weighted towards the coasts (especially the East coast). States in the South overwhelmingly preferred pancakes to waffles. French toast eating habits were also investigated and apparently the Midwest is responsible for 40% of the nation’s french toast consumption. So I suppose we have to start doing our Midwestern duty and making more french toast.
And now I’m starting to see that this post is getting away from me. I really did plan to talk about these delicious waffles. They have a wonderful pumpkin taste both from the roasted pumpkin and spices, and the buckwheat flour I added gave it a sort of toasty, earthy flavor (I find buckwheat a troublesome item to clearly describe the taste). But I find looking at this sort of regional habit data fascinating, especially when it comes to food. As my sister reminded me the other day I was a child who took inventory of and was known to graph my Halloween candy.
If you are roasting the pumpkin yourself I’d recommend mashing it with a fork or potato masher before putting it into the batter. It will ensure you don’t get stringy pieces of pumpkin floating around your waffles (although maybe you’d prefer that, sort of like juice pulp).
So wherever you are from, whether you prefer pancakes or waffles, this batter will make a wonderful fall breakfast for you and your family. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Buckwheat Waffles (or Pancakes!)
- 3/4 C buckwheat flour
- 1/2 C AP flour
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t salt
- 2 t pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 C pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 C milk
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 T canola oil
Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer instructions.
In a bowl mix together flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, egg, milk, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until there are no dry bits.
Cook 1/2 to 3/4 C batter at a time in waffle iron until ready. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Two Peas &Their Pod.