Ever since I can remember, when we were staying in Heist, we always made a walk to Knokke-Zoute and there we were treated to the world-famous waffles of Mother Siska.
Not the kind of waffle you'll eat in the USA or any other country, but the real Belgian ones. Soft inside and crispy outside. No sugar in the dough and eaten with lots of unsweetened cream...
Siska's waffles have this unique design and also the recipe is secret, given from parent to child since the 19th century.
It is the year 1882. Francisca Fincent was married three times, became a widow twice and had ten children. Once she made a trip to Amsterdam with her third husband, and there she saw a painting of a waffle iron formed like a heart. Once back home, she asked her brother-in-law to make her such an iron with five hearts. That way she could bake waffles and give each child a waffle heart.
One of her acquaintances tasted one of these waffles and liked them so well, that he asked if he could have a waffle feast for his daughter's wedding. The feast became a big success and was the beginning of a new trade. From then on, the waffles were baked and sold to tourists and Siska was so succesful, that her sons and daughters started businesses of their own.
On days like today, you'll have to find a free seat, because the place is so packed and busy. But of course, the waffles are worth waiting for! If you ever happen to be in Knokke-Heist, make sure you'll walk or bike to the Oosthoek and go have waffles at Mother Siska's.