Could there be a less-appealing name for a food? This is what I wondered when I saw speculoos spread in a list of waffle toppings at Wafels & Dinges, a New York City food truck. It turns out to be a sweet Belgian gingerbread spread, as Thomas DeGeest, the man behind Wafels & Dinges, explained to me. Gingerbread in spread form? Yes, please.
I watched as he slathered the brown paste on my golden waffle much as a brick layer would smear concrete. It resembled peanut butter in its thick texture and nutty color, and it tasted like a caramel ginger cookie puree. It was awesome.
It dawned on me that I recognized the speculoos flavor not as a Belgian treat, but from the little cookies I pray Delta flight attendants don't run out of in coach.
Originating in Belgium and the Netherlands, these cookies are traditionally baked to celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6. They are made with flour, butter, light brown sugar, and a variety of spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. Less spicy and sweeter than gingerbread, speculoos cookies make a perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. And speculoos spread goes with just about everything else.
Biscoff is the most readily available brand of speculoos cookies, which can be purchased in bulk on their website; and it just so happens that the company also makes a Biscoff spread, designed to taste "just like those fine imported biscuits you've enjoyed on the airline."
The team behind Wafel & Dinges recently started making the spread as well, and it's available online and at their NYC trucks.
• Biscoff cookies and speculoos spread at Biscoff
• Wafel & Dinges speculoos spread, $7.95 for a 14 oz. jar at Arcadia NYC
Related: Product: Lotus Caramelised Biscuits
(Images: Wafel & Dinges; Flickr member wisdomlight licensed for use under Creative Commons)