The waffle emoji debuted just in time for the arrival of Wild Culture Waffles in Hastings-on-Hudson. Created by Miguel Lacruz and his wife, Gabriela Montiel, the favorite Hastings Farmers’ Market staple opened a brick-and-mortar location on Warburton Avenue in mid-September.
As the word “culture” in the name suggests, Wild Culture’s waffles are sourdough, an idea that was sparked by Netflix. “I always cooked as a kid, and Gabriela was always passionate about baking, but the first time I heard about sourdough was on Michael Pollen’s Cooked,” says Lacruz, whose background is in filmmaking and advertising. “One episode is about bread and I got super nerdy about it.” From there, Lacruz studied books by the who’s who of baking, including Chad Robertson’s Tartine, Claus Meyer’s Meyer’s Bakery, and Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Salt Yeast.
The idea to make waffles took shape when the couple’s daughter, Lola, asked for them. “When you have kids, you think more about what you’re putting into your body, so I said, ‘I have to ferment the batter!’”Lacruz recalls. After purchasing an Italian culture from Sourdoughs International, he began home-testing waffle recipes. “The learning curve was challenging but fun at the same time,” he says. “There’s an art and science aspect that I really love.”
The result is something Lacruz is proud of. The recipe calls for just water, flour, and the yeast culture, which cold ferment together for 10–12-hours. Afterwards, eggs, maple syrup, and banana, which acts as a bonding agent and sweetener, are added before another fermentation. The outcome is not dense like Belgian liege waffles, but crispy, light, and neither sweet nor savory — a clean slate for adding creative flavors.
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Options at Wild Culture range from plain waffles topped with the classic maple syrup or drizzled with local Higgins Honey to a savory version, studded with chunks of ham and gooey Gruyère. If those aren’t tantalizing enough, a custom donut filling machine can stuff air pockets with homemade pastry cream or curd for specials like Boston cream or lemon meringue waffles. Others choices include a cream-cheese-filled waffle dusted with everything bagel spice, and The Greek, stuffed with feta and smattered with sesame seeds and honey.
To wash it down, Wild Culture offers a deep craft coffee list, featuring beans from Brooklyn’s Oslo Coffee Roasters where Montiel worked as a barista for seven years.
If you can’t get enough and want to take some home, frozen sourdough waffles are available to-go. It’s time to ditch the Eggos.
Wild Culture Waffles
579 Warburton Avenue #5
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