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Doug Seed

I'm gettin' me one of them Bel-Gem Waffles!

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Just made reservations online at the Embassy Suites in Syracuse for just $114 per night DURING the New York State Fair! Shocked at the great price. (with AAA discount)

Finally going to have a real Bel-Gem Waffle for the first time in 40 years.

Yep... driving over 5 hours for a waffle.

Even my wife is into this quest after having the waffles Gary Holmes

made for us at the first SiP. (Oh God... I hope the waffle lady IS there this year!)

Are there any other '64-'65 legacies at this fair besides the waffles?

NY State Fair Website

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Just made reservations online at the Embassy Suites in Syracuse for just $114 per night DURING the New York State Fair!  Shocked at the great price. (with AAA discount)

Finally going to have a real Bel-Gem Waffle for the first time in 40 years.

Yep... driving over 5 hours for a waffle.

Even my wife is into this quest after having the waffles Gary Holmes

made for us at the first SiP.  (Oh God... I hope the waffle lady IS there this year!)

Are there any other '64-'65 legacies at this fair besides the waffles?

NY State Fair Website

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What are Belgem waffles? Think they will taste as good 40 years later? Do you

Belgium village? What does Syracuse have to do with it? That was a good fair

in the old days. I still have a ticket, cost $1.00 to get in and all of the entertainment

was free, had some big names back then too.

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What are Belgem waffles? Think they will taste as good  40 years later? Do you

Belgium village?  What does Syracuse have to do with it?  That was a good fair

in the old days. I still have a ticket, cost  $1.00 to get in and all of the entertainment

was free, had some big names  back then too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I just went to the NY State Fair site. I can't believe the prices for the entertainment.

We had big names and they were all free. Can't complain about the ticket prices,

somewhere I have a list of all the entertainers we saw at different y ears, if I

can find it.

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What are Belgem waffles? Think they will taste as good  40 years later? Do you

Belgium village?  What does Syracuse have to do with it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hello Jett,

The BelGem Waffle has been discussed extensively on this site. It was a Belgium Waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. The recipe and concession was owned by the Vermersch family. Mariepaule Vermersch, who was a teenager during the Fair, helped her parents with the concession. Later, she served the BelGem waffles for many years at the New York State Fair in Sryacuse, and was doing so at least through 2001, when Gary Holmes reported on her waffle stand (and waffles). I don't think anyone has reported anything about her presence or absence since then.

Doug,

Please post on your experience if Mariepaule's stand is still at the NY State Fair. Be sure to say hello for all of us, including me. I am especially interested in the current price to see if she has kept up with inflation or not. The 99 cent price at the Fair would be about $5.95 in 2005 dollars.

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Hey, Doug, when ya going up? Business allowing, I'm going up for a mid-week visit to family and the fair - haven't heard from Mariepaule since I was up there, but I did hear she closed her restaurant in Albuquerque, where she served them year-round - (But I'm not sure about the last bit of news) Hopefully, she's still there, or at least her neices, who were doing most of the prep and serving when I was last at the NYS fair, with MAriepaule overseeing things. And, as of a few years ago, they tasted as good, if not better!

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Gary and Doug,

I have sent you Mariepaule's phone number in case you want to call her. There is also the New York State Fair information service at <a href="mailto:nysfair@nysfair.org">nysfair@nysfair.org</a>. They might be able to tell you folks if Mariepaule will be at the State Fair this year.

I hope both of you make it and are able to have a waffle or two. Take pictures and report back!

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Yippeeeeeee.... or should I say Sweeeeet?

Just got this reply from the Consessions and Exhibits Office of the NY State Fair...

"Yes. we will have Bel-Gem Waffles this year, they are located in the Dairy Products Building."

Okay, baby... it's off to Syracuse August 29th and 30th. I figure one the night of the 29th and another the afternoon of the 30th!

I will be armed with camera... and appetite.

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Darn it, Doug. We're going to miss each other by a day. I'm there on AUg 31 (Wednesdays are the only weekday I can really get away!)! But I did check the site and the booth is where it's always been, so hopefully that means MAriepaule Vermersch will be there. SHe is very nice. But even so, last time I was there in 2001 or 02, her neices were really running the place, so hopefully they, atleast, are continuing with it. And an added attraction - the waffles themselves are for sale to be taken home and frozen and used for your own BW creations. (The ones I brought home never lasted a week!)

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All this talk about Bel-Gem waffles has me recalling how good they were at the SiLA.....guess I will have to console myself by crossing the cheese rind (Wis border, don'tcha know) to get some cream puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair. (For the information of the uninitiated, I'd rate them right up there next to Bel-Gems)

What's YOUR favorite fun food when Bel-Gems aren't available?

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Randy or Bill,

Can you locate the photos from a couple weeks ago that showed the Bel-Gem Waffle stand from the side.. and then there was a close-up of the menu board with the various prices.

I can't locate that thread.

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Great Randy, thanks.

By the way, what do you suppose the word is on the menu sign between Bel-Gem and Waffles?

Wouldn't be Brussels, would it?

Can anybody post that incredible photo of the kid eating a waffle that was in the National Geographic in '64 or '65? The one with the sun's reflection in his glasses.

Did the Vermesch family have the exclusive on waffles at the fair?

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Can anybody post that incredible photo of the kid eating a waffle that was in the National Geographic in '64 or '65?  The one with the sun's reflection in his glasses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep!

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waffleKid.jpgFantastic, Eric! Thanks.

I think this thread now contains the most descriptive photos of the waffles that we've ever had in one place here at PTU.

That shot of the kid (from National Geographic, April, 1965) gives such a rare close up of what the true taste sensation was all about.

And the booth side view reminds me of the flurry of activity inside the busy venue.

(I AM surprised, however, to see that the starburst is printed on those glasses and not a sun reflection as I, and a million other readers, thought it was!)

I hope I can come back with decent shots of their 2005 booth in Syracuse to add to this definitive thread.

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I hope I can come back with decent shots of their 2005 booth.....

...and waffles for everyone here Doug!

Better take a trailer. Hope you have a great time.

Looking forward to your report.

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Oh man, now I've got drool all over my keyboard!

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I will be visiting the NYS Fair on August 29 as well. I also expect to be there on August 26. I attend every year. It is a great event. I will be at the Bel Gem waffle stand Monday evening, August 29.

The Bel-Gem Waffles are sold in the Dairy Products Building which is in the main part of the Fairgrounds on Empire Court. It is in the same building as the annual "butter sculpture."

Yes, there is one other NYWF legacy of which I am familiar. It is found in the Agricultural Museum on the Fairgrounds. There are several standards used for crowd control fencing at the 1939 NYWF. Each of these (and there are probably five or six of them) have the Trylon and Perisphere logo and NYWF 1939 on them.

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Last night on the Channel 11 News in Los Angeles, they showed a short story on the butter sculpture at the New York State Fair.

Channel 11 is part of the Fox network, so they probably picked up the footage from Fox News.

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here's that pic of my ma, joanie at the fair shoveling in a Bel-Gem waffle bigger than her head!

JoanieWaffle.jpg

i envy you guys! wish i was back in NY to sample the crispy goodness! don't have too much fun!

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Her waffle looks a little light in the strawberry department.

And that statue looks like it's plotting to snatch the waffle from her at any second!

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Okay, so it took me 5-1/2 months to post them, but here are my pix of the REAL BelGem waffle stand that's at the NY State Fair in Syracuse each August.

(Those of you new to this thread may want to go back and review the first page of posts and photos)

The sign to look for... it's in the Dairy Products Building... diagonally across from the "butter sculpture" (I kid you not <!-- s:-) --><!-- s:-) -->)

MauricesBelgianWaffles.jpg

WaffleMenuBoard.jpg

WafflePricesUpClose.jpg

WaffleCloseUp.jpg

WafflesInWaiting2.jpg

WakidAklTheOwner.jpg

The fellow in the hat is Wakid Akl, a very, very nice guy. He purchased the business a couple years ago from Mariepaule Vermeche. She made him sign an agreement to keep the name and recipe, with no changes. I have Wakid's e-mail address and could pass a few questions by him, I'm sure.

The waffles look a bit smaller than 40 years ago and the application of whipped cream is not quite as elaborate... but yummmmmmmm.

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Yes, there are earlier threads about the NYS Fair and the waffles and it is great to see these photographs. I live near Syracuse and have been visiting the NYS Fair forever and I always stop for a Belgian Waffle. In fact, in 1999, President Clinton visited the Fair and he, too, went into the Dairy Products Building and he purchased a waffle (after viewing the butter sculpture!). I don't have the ability to scan photographs so I greatly appreciate these. If any PTU'ers are interested, perhaps we could meet at the NYS Fair next summer!

There is a website for the New York State Fair:

<a href="http://www.nysfair.org/state_fair/2006/" target="_blank">http://www.nysfair.org/state_fair/2006/</a>

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I have Wakid's e-mail address and could pass a few questions by him, I'm sure.

Ask him please if he plans to go anywhere other than the New York State Fair, like perhaps Ohio or Indiana, hmm?

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