March 25th is International Waffle Day!
International Waffle Day originated in Sweden where it is called Våffeldagen. (Apparently one thing they are not neutral on is their love of fried sugar dough.) The holiday coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation, which takes place nine months before Christmas – when the Archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary she was pregnant. The day also celebrated the beginning of Spring. It became customary for Swedish families to celebrate the events with waffles. (Personally, I think every holiday should be celebrated with waffles!)
The Golden History of the Waffle
Waffles are descended from the flat cakes baked in ancient Greece. These cakes were prepared with cheese and herbs and cooked between two metal plates.
The waffles we know today were actually born in the Middle Ages. Waffles were cooked over a fire using two metal plates with wooden handles. The plates often had the familiar grid pattern we know today, but some waffles had fancier designs – a coat of arms, a landscape, etc. Waffles were so popular that they were even sold from street carts.
The pilgrims thoughtfully brought waffles with them to the new world. After all, who could imagine facing the struggles of building a new civilization without a decent breakfast?
- The word “waffle” is from the Dutch, meaning “wafer.”
- In the late 1800’s, Thomas Jefferson returned from France with a waffle iron.
- In the US, we get TWO chances to celebrate waffles! National Waffle Day is August 24! It celebrates the first patented waffle iron. The patent was submitted by Cornelius Swarthout in 1869.
- Eggo Waffles were introduced in supermarket freezer sections in 1953.
- Since its founding in 1955, the Waffle House chain has sold more than 500 million waffles.
- Maurice Vermersch sold his wife’s fluffy Brussels Waffles at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Since he didn’t think anyone knew where Brussels was, he dubbed them “Belgian Waffles.”
- There are several types of waffles – American, Belgian, Scandinavian, Liège, Hong Kong, and Dutch stroopwafels.
- If you make too many, you can always freeze leftover waffles and reheat in the toaster or toaster oven.
How do you like your waffles? Those golden honeycombed treats are perfect for serving with syrup, powdered sugar, fruit, whipped cream, preserves, honey, apple butter, peanut butter, chocolate or anything you can think of… even chicken!
Actual Newspaper Headline:
British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
Quote of the Day:
“A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap.” ~ Mitch Hedberg