Waffles are crispy from the outside with perfect holes for syrup. In the U.S there is a blurred line between breakfast and dessert of waffles. Waffles are having a history that goes back more than you expect. They were considered as honeycomb-designed flatbread in the 13th century in Europe. Then they spread across the Atlantic with the pilgrims. Americans industrialized waffles starting with the frozen waffles.
Later on, they were distinguished from the traditional Belgian varieties. In all these years, we have developed a fascination and obsession with waffles. They were started from breakfast cereals. Now they are considered as a dessert but some people prefer it as a healthy breakfast.
Early Days of The Waffles
The earliest waffles were called flatbreads. In the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, flatbreads or waffles were the common nutritious source. They were easy to make because you only need flour and water. The making of waffles was started when the honeycomb-patterned waffle irons were forged by the craftsman. It was done in the 1200s. The batter was poured into the cooking irons which were cooked on an open-hearth fire.
The word Waffle comes from an old French word, Guafre, which means Wafla. The word wafla was then converted into waffles. In Europe, waffles were commonly sold by street vendors over the years. In the 16th century, European society was eating waffles. The privileged class used to add milk, eggs, and honey to eat the waffles as a delicate treat with added taste.
In 1620, the pilgrims before sailing to America spent their time in Holland. Therefore, the Dutch brought the waffles to America on their voyage.
The word waffle appears in the print as we use it today.
Thomas Jefferson returned to the U.S. with many French recipes from France. He came with a long-handled waffle iron that was used to cook the waffle. The batter was poured into the iron which cooked crispy and honeycomb-shaped waffles.
Waffle Frolics became part of the parties in the South. Guests were served waffles with molasses, sweet syrup, or savory with kidney stew. It then evolved as a southern folk favorite such as waffles and chicken.
The first waffle iron, Cornelius Swartwout of Troy, New York, got the patent on August 24th. The day the first patent was given to the waffle iron is marked as National Waffle Day.
Thomas J. Stackbeck created the first commercial electric waffle iron. He made it for General Electric. In 1930, it became a staple in the kitchens of the U.S.
Eggo frozen toaster waffle was introduced in the supermarkets of the U.S by Dorsa Brothers. It was initially called FROFFLES. The name was later on changed to Eggos in 1955.
Belgian Waffles made their debut at New York World’s Flair in Flushing, Queens. Vendor Maurice Vermersch sold his wife’s Brussels Waffle Recipe. This recipe included fluffy waffles made of yeast with whipped cream and strawberries. Brussels Waffles were then changed to the name of Belgian Waffles.
The invention of Honeycomb Style
There is an amazing story behind the birth of the honeycomb style. Some say that the flatbread got waffle’s characteristics such as grid pattern was first introduced in medieval Europe. So, legends claim that it was introduced by a medieval knight. One day, returning home after a long day, he accidentally sat on the oatcake. At this time, he was wearing his armor. He left a pattern on the bread and the rest is history! We have already mentioned the first waffle iron above.
Facts About Waffles
Nike Waffle Sole Related to Waffle
The first idea of Nike running shoes was brought forward by a former track coach named Bill Bowerman. While having his breakfast of waffles, he realized that the waffles had the perfect pattern for soles that could work on multiple terrains. The prototype was designed using a waffle iron. It took time to perfectly shape the sole into a waffle shape. Nike still uses waffle soles in numerous models.
Dutch Waffles Became Waffles
Dutch Wafels were named Waffles in the English language. The word waffle was first used in print in 1735. It was used in the book Court Cookery, or the Compleat English Cook by Robert R. Smith. This book mentioned a simple recipe for a waffle made with a yeasty batter and nutmeg.
In Belgium, the Liege Waffle is smaller in size than a normal one. They are thick waffles with sugar clumps. The edges of the liege waffle are round.
Brussels Waffle is another favorite type of Belgian Waffle. Brussels waffles are thick and have a rectangular shape. For yummy waffle toppings, they are having deep pockets. You can also sprinkle the icing sugar.
Syrup waffle is the literal meaning of Stroopwafel. They are crumbly and hard cookies. To make stroopwafel, you join the two thin wafers with caramel sauce. You can soften it by eating it with hot chocolate, tea, or coffee.
Waffles were perfected by the U.S. as both, breakfast and dessert. They come in all sizes and shapes and toppings. You can have a sweet syrup waffle or a savory bacon waffle. Some people also make chicken or kidney stew waffles. In the U.S. the most popular waffle is the frozen waffle.
To make it easier, Belgian waffles are the simplified variant of the Brussels waffle. They are leavened with baking soda. Belgian waffles are thicker and fluffier and have deep pockets, unlike the traditional waffles of the U.S.
In Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, bubble waffles are the common street food. They are crispy and sticky. They taste more like eggs. Bubble waffles are also known as egg waffles or eggettes.
Pandan waffles were originated from Vietnam and they got their name from the composition. They are made using pandan flavoring and coconut milk in the batter. The pandan flavoring gives a distinctive spring green color to the waffles. When they are cooked, they are crispy on the outside and stay in green color. They are eaten plain, without syrup or any topping. It is a portion of popular street food in Vietnam.
These waffles are long with a hot dog cooked inside them. It was originated in Thailand. Hotdog waffles are served with mayonnaise or ketchup or both. The batter used to make these waffles is similar to the American waffles. They use margarine instead of butter.
Waffles on Stick
These long waffles are cooked on a stick. They are dipped into chocolate syrup with sprinkles on the top.
Origin of Chicken and Waffles
There are many theories about the fried chicken and waffles. Both were common in the U.S. since colonial times and were being served since the 1620s. In 1938, Wells Supper Club in Harlem, New York started serving chicken and waffles in the night jazz sessions. The combo of chicken and waffles became a trend all over the country. Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles was opened in 1976 sealing the pairing as an American Staple.
In this article, we have mentioned the history of waffles. They were being served as street food in the 13th century. Later on, they evolved using commercial and electric waffle iron that makes a perfect waffle using different ingredients. They have been a sweet dessert and also a savory pairing.