Sunday, April 2, 2017
Welcome to the Street Food App Blog, where we'll be featuring some of the tastiest mobile meals found on Street Food App. Please refrain from licking your screen as we take you on a tour of the most delicious street food across North America.
We start with Zinneken's Waffles, a Boston-area food truck started by real, live, actual Belgians! You know that feeling when your waffles are just not doing it for you? Well, An Nhon & Anh-Phi knew what it felt like when they left their native Belgium and were in America, practically starved for a classic Liège waffle. Their business-savvy minds saw a gap in the market that their stomachs wanted to fill.
They kindly took time out of their very busy waffle making and business running schedule to share answers to our burning questions.
Okay, as a couple of Belgians, tell me the difference between a Liège waffle and the "fuzzy" imitations you come across?
First of all, the Liège waffle is not to be confused with a classic Belgian waffle. The Liège waffle is made with a yeast dough (instead of batter) and imported beet pearl sugar. When cooked in the iron, the sugar melts and creates a natural caramelized coating.
As Belgian natives, we know that the the perfect Liège waffle has to have a specific taste, texture and smell. You also cannot judge a Liège waffle by its appearance; you need to taste it, break it apart and smell it to really understand the difference between an authentic Liège waffle and a "fuzzy imitation."
Now, don't you want to rip into one of these hot waffles immediately? Practically everything used to make these waffles is imported from Belgium, even the waffle irons! The beet pearl sugar creates little pockets of crunchy caramelized zones that are just spectacular. Now, back to the questions…
We've heard a lot from trucks about how challenging it is to get started. Tell me, what are the most rewarding and most intimidating parts of starting and operating a food truck?
The most intimidating thing about starting a food truck business was the lack of information out there about permitting in the different towns, how to select locations, and building the truck itself. I still remember the time it took us just to find an empty used truck. Then visiting the few different food truck builders in our state who each had their own way of designing what we hand in mind. In the end, we had to grab all the ideas and draw the concept ourselves.
Our food concept was very different from other savoury food trucks and so were our needs. We were lucky to have built a great relationship with other food truck business owners as we shared a lot of our experience with each other. Despite that, we still find so many things we wish we could do differently. But it's all part of the learning experience in a relatively new industry, and that's what makes any success even sweeter.
Besides waffles, what other Belgian food holds the best most comforting memories?
We definitely miss the Belgian fries that can be found in the streets of Brussels! It is a truly unique product that can only be experienced in Belgium for the time being. The Belgian fries are different from others because of the kind of potato they use, but also because of the frying process.
When we miss our fries, we usually head to The Publick House in Brookline or The Amsterdam Falafel in Somerville. Belgium is also famous for its chocolate and beer, but these can be found pretty easily locally.
Maybe next you can introduce America to frites! Start lugging potatoes back in your luggage, perhaps?
I’m always interested in the path entrepreneurs took to get to where they are. If I were to go back and ask a childhood friend or family member of yours what you would become when you grew up, what would they have said?
For Nhon and I, we were more destined to work in the corporate world as we both went to college for business. Our parents and friends saw us becoming engineers, but we both ended up majoring in business, which probably influenced us to eventually become entrepreneurs.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what would be the one food you would have with you?
If we were in a "castaway" type of situation, we would definitely enjoy having some Belgian potatoes with us, as that may be the only food that may grow there!
Thank you, Nhon Ma & Anh-Phi Tran, for sharing your unbridled passion and expertise for waffles with us.
Now that you're jonesing for some hot and sweet Zinneken's Waffles, here's where you can find their daily location.
Looking to book Zinneken's Waffles for your next event?
Picture beautiful hot waffles as your wedding dessert, or be the office hero and feed your team hot waffles this Friday! Click here to inquire about Zinneken's Waffles catering.