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By Jake Darling  

Since the dawn of breakfast foods, one question has lingered over all others…

Which is better: pancakes, or waffles?

In a survey of Upper School students, 52.9% of students preferred waffles, while 47.1% preferred pancakes.

Well, it’s pancakes, and about 47% of Upper School students polled last week agree. While many see this percentage as a loss for Team Pancake, I see a reality where people are uninformed on the superiority of pancakes compared to their opponent, the waffle.

In order to understand why pancakes are the superior breakfast food, one must look back to the 5th century BC, where the earliest reference of pancakes can be found in the works of Greek poets Cratinus and Magnes. From this point in history and onward, pancakes have been a popular breakfast food all around the world. In 14th century, the first waffle irons were created. Waffles are simply copies of pancakes hoping to find the same success pancakes have enjoyed throughout history.

Some of IHOP’s finest.

As time has moved forward, pancakes have only gotten better, and students at Collegiate are well aware of this. When asked about preferences, numerous students provided their reasoning. Jake LaFerriere (‘21) said that he prefers pancakes because “The fluffy brown butteriness is soooo much better than a boring checker patterned yellow yuckiness!” Emma Blackwood (‘20) also provided insight as to why she prefers pancakes, because “waffles are just plaid pancakes. They ain’t special.” Lastly, SCA co-chair Caroline Hall (‘18) explained that “While eating waffles, I often find myself frustrated by how unevenly the maple syrup and or butter is distributed over the delicacy due to the unnecessary divots dispersed throughout the waffle.”

With the syrup sitting in the small holes on the waffle, it is as if the waffle consumer is eating the syrup and the waffle separately. When one puts syrup on a pancake, it seeps into the pancake and spreads throughout, creating a delicious breakfast meal. Brady Spelbring (‘20) even commented that “I have [pancakes] almost every morning for breakfast with a side of bacon and orange juice.” Another reason why pancakes are better than waffles is because one does not need any fancy equipment to make a pancake; just a hot surface, spatula, and pancake batter. Waffles requires one to have an expensive waffle iron on hand, which can be a hassle to carry around. Waffles are also crunchy on the outside, and why would a breakfast connoisseur want something usually crunchy for their breakfast when they could have a pancake, a food which is soft and easy to eat?

While the statistics may show that waffles are preferred (by a slight margin) in the Collegiate student body, they did not match my personal experience when it comes to the pancakes or waffles debate.

Can’t go wrong with chocolate chips.

I, along with fellow Match writer (and waffle enthusiast) Bailey Andress (‘19) and six of our friends mutually agreed to go to IHOP, where they have both pancakes and waffles on the menu. Once our orders were placed, I found that six out of the eight total Collegiate students ordered the pancakes. Now some may say that this experiment does not prove anything, and of course more people would order pancakes at the International House of Pancakes. Yet both options were available, and the majority of our party still chose pancakes.

Another reason for pancakes’ superiority is the craft of pancake art. This art form is when chefs take different colored pancake batter and draw different characters or people in the form of pancakes, making pancakes more enjoyable for kids and adults who are looking for something to laugh at while eating their breakfast.

Lastly, I’ve heard the argument several times around school that waffles are better than pancakes due to the different foods you can make with waffles, such as the famous chicken and waffles. Match staffer Matt Kollmansperger (‘18) took umbrage with that argument, saying, “This is not a debate on pancake dishes versus waffle dishes! This a debate between pancakes and waffles!” Sure, the combination of chicken and waffles is a delicious meal to eat at anytime throughout the day, but that is not what this rivalry is about. This is about which is better at face value. So, I ask the reader again, which is better?

Pancakes, or Waffles?

Click here to read Bailey Andress’s spirited defense of waffles. 

Photos by Jake Darling.

About the author

Jake Darling is a junior at Collegiate