Whether you top ‘em with butter, chocolate, syrup, berries, ice cream, all of the above, or something even better…waffles are an absolute favorite the world over! Often enjoyed as a breakfast food as well as an afternoon snack or even a dessert dish for after-dinner hours, waffles are transcendent of mealtimes. It’s no wonder we have a holiday to celebrate them!
Today is National Waffle Day.
Nowadays, waffle irons are household appliances. They’re the perfect contraption for creating the iconic pattern of square pocketed surfaces you’ll find on waffles. See, the old French word for waffle—wafla—means ‘a piece of honeybee hive’. It’s these ‘pockets’—the grid shape—that actually makes a waffle a waffle and not…well, a pancake!
Believe it or not, that is the only real purpose to the design of the waffle. It’s actually just a happy accident that the grid design doesn’t just look cool, but actually helps make the surface get evenly crispy and does a great job at holding your syrup, butter, or what have you.
The waffle iron wasn’t patented until 1869. But, the waffle itself had already been around for about 600 years! As advancements of forging metal came along in the 1200s, so came along the ability to craft cooking plates by impressing designs into the metal.
In fact, early waffle plates typically used more than the honeycomb design. Instead landscapes, crests, symbols, and other designs were imprinted on waffles. It wasn’t long before two waffle plates were attached by a hinge to make a sort of ‘iron’. Waffles spread like wildfire across the world and became almost as popular then as they are now!
A favorite among royalty, many kings thoroughly enjoyed waffles. King Francis of France had such a love for waffles that he requested that a waffle maker be specially made of silver just for his royal highness! Whether you’re a king or not, enjoy your waffles today of all days and, as always, thanks for reading!