It’s virtually impossible to completely understand the significance of the waffle unless a person has tried one themselves! Waffles are certainly memorable, especially if they are made to perfection: crispy on the outside with a soft, doughy center. Covered in powdered sugar, sweet syrup, or jam, it’s actually the divots that make the whole thing absolutely melt in the mouth.
This day offers a fun, interesting history that spans cultures and geography. So it’s time to get started celebrating Waffle Day!
History of Waffle Day
Waffle Day began in Scandinavia as Våffeldagen. It was actually a bit of a blunder that led to this being waffle day at all. Although it seems serendipitous now, the original problem was due to confusion between the Swedish “Vårfrudagen” meaning “Our Lady’s Day” which is a religious holiday that falls in late March, 9 months before Christmas. Over time, the pronunciation for the religious celebration was slurred and eating waffles naturally entered into the picture.
While it developed gradually over time, so no one knows exactly what year it began, waffles have been around in Sweden since at least the 1600s (or longer) so it stands to reason that Waffle Day is not a modern occurrence. Now, Waffle Day is celebrated in not only Sweden but Norway and Denmark, as well as other European countries. The day in March historically marks the beginning of spring and people of other nationalities have begun to adopt the day as well.
The alternative Waffle Day celebrated on August 24th, began in the United States and honors the anniversary of the patenting of the first US waffle iron in 1869. This waffle iron was invented by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York.
So, as it turns out, waffles are such a popular world-wide phenomenon, that they merit two days in the calendar to celebrate them. But it’s likely that no one is going to complain about that!
Whichever day is picked to honor it, however, the waffle is certainly deserving of celebration. The remarkable dough-based gridded cakes can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as a snack; or for dessert.
(And then there is that whole other business of the potato waffle, a different thing altogether but still tasty in its own right.)
In any case, this day is a great one for learning about and celebrating anything and everything that has to do with waffles!
How to Celebrate Waffle Day
What a fun and easy day to enjoy! It’s uncomplicated and absolutely delicious.
Waffles are an easy treat to make and a yummy one to eat, so be sure to join in on the celebration. Consider these ways to bring attention to this fabulous day:
Try Waffles from Different Cultures
Go on a waffle adventure! Take this day to explore the vast array of flavors that the world of the waffle has to offer:
- Tuck into American waffles topped with fried chicken or, alternatively, stacked and drenched in sugary maple syrup for breakfast. Don’t forget a slice or two of crispy bacon!
- Enjoy a Brussels or Liège Belgian Waffle that is thicker and dusted with confectioner’s sugar or coated in chocolate or cream. The batter is made with egg whites to build volume, and the waffles are sometimes cooked with pearl sugar that adds to the richness and flavor.
- A standard since the 1600s (and the place where the day came from) Swedish waffles are similar to other waffles but are made in special irons that create four heart shapes. These are served with a dollop of cream, fresh berries, or berry compote.
- Or travel east and sample a soft and sweet Hong Kong waffle laced with the flavors of peanut butter or honey melon.
It would be easy to waffle on forever about all of the tasty options that are available when it comes to eating this delicious treat!
Get Waffles at a Restaurant
Many different waffle restaurants offer special deals for an important event such as Waffle Day! Check out local restaurants to see what they have on offer, such as:
- Waffle House, located in 25 US states, typically offers special deals or coupons for this day.
- International House of Pancakes, with locations in the US, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru, offers a Chicken and Waffles plate that is extremely popular.
- Huddle House, a chain throughout the southern US states, has been known to offer a Waffle Day deal that includes a side of bacon or sausage free with the purchase of waffles.
- Check out other waffle restaurants in nearby locations.
Get Creative with the Waffle Iron
Waffle irons don’t have to be just for basic, boring batter! They can be used to make creative treats such as these:
- Place refrigerated cinnamon roll dough, one in each of the four squares of the iron, close, and cook until done.
- Use different colors of food coloring to turn ho-hum waffles into exciting rainbow fun.
- Pour cupcake batter into the waffle iron and cook as usual. After removing and cooling, create “sandwiches” with canned frosting or ice cream.
- Use normal waffle batter, but add bacon pieces and egg to the middle, top with more batter, and cook. A breakfast waffle sandwich!
Waffles at the World’s Fair in New York
A convenient food for eating on the go, Belgian waffles were officially introduced to the American people at the world’s fair in 1964, held in Syracuse, New York. Maurice and Rose Vermersch and their daughters, a Belgian family, made waffles that were different from American waffles in that they were crispy, fluffy, and airy. The treat was an instant hit and the family served an average of 2500 waffles per day!
These sweet snacks were originally meant to be called ‘Brussels Waffles’, as they are a popular feature in the Belgian capital. But the family quickly realized that most Americans didn’t know where Brussels was, so they settled on ‘Belgian Waffles’. And the name stuck!