Potato waffles are savory products with distinctive lattice shapes. Mashed potato and vegetable oil are the main ingredients. Generally, commercial waffles are kept in the freezer, and they are baked or grilled before eating. They are more of a European food, especially British and Irish, rather than anywhere else in world, where waffles have more sweet connotations.
Mashed potato is the major ingredient of a potato waffle. Oil is also added to keep the waffle together and for taste. Other ingredients include potato granules, potato starch, and salt. Flavorings such as white pepper, mustard, or herbs and spices may also be present in the waffle. Some waffles are not gluten free, as wheat starch may also be added.
According to an article in Time Magazine by M. J. Stephey, the name waffle derives from "wafer," which refers to the flat piece of bread that is part of Catholic religious ceremonies. This is why waffles in America and in parts of the world like Belgium refer to sweet, flat, and ridged wheat cakes made from batter. The lattice effect of a potato waffle is somewhat similar, hence the name.
The shape of a potato waffle is attractive and also plays a part in how the food cooks quickly. An average potato waffle has four holes horizontally and five holes vertically, which increases the surface area the cooking heat can affect. This design is formed through molding the potato in the factory. The product is usually cooked straight from the freezer as it can lose its structure if it defrosts and is not crispy from cooking.
Options for cooking a potato waffle include baking, barbecuing, or grilling. The cook will have to turn the potato waffle over once halfway through cooking, but that is the extent of the culinary skill necessary. The pale waffle turns golden and crispy under the heat.
Although frozen potato waffles are suitable for those who do not have the inclination to cook potatoes from scratch and for children, who like the lattice effect, a home cook or a chef may also like to make waffles from a recipe. Mashed potato, potato starch, eggs, and butter are the basic ingredients for a waffle with salt as a seasoning. The chef can then achieve the desired waffle effect by cooking the potato mixture in a waffle iron.
Ketchup and mayonnaise are traditional accompaniments to a crispy potato waffle, although the texture and the latticework also lend themselves to baked beans. They can also form a topping for a fish or chicken pie. An average waffle contains about 100 calories and pinch of salt.