August 24 is National Waffle Day. Pass the syrup! We’ll welcome any occasion to indulge in this iconic international treat. With so many varieties — Belgium, Hong Kong, stroopwafels, galettes – to enjoy in countless ways from adding classic toppings like butter and syrup, fruit, and chocolate, to waffle sandwiches and hotdog buns, we can’t wait to eat them at every meal.
History of National Waffle Day
The contemporary waffles we enjoy today hail from France and Belgium. Earlier versions of the waffle, made of grain flour and water, date back to Ancient Greece. At that time they made obelios, or flat cakes, cooked between hot metal plates. In the Middle ages wafers were made using round plates with images of Jesus, The Crucifiction, and other religious scenes and symbols. Through the centuries both the ingredients and cooking methods of waffle making evolved until finally landing on one of the dozens of common varieties we love today.
The Belgian Waffle made its way over to America during the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, but it wasn’t popular until the 1964 to 1965 World’s Fair was hosted in Queens, New York. The waffle was originally known as the Brussels waffle. It’s defining factors are it’s crispy exterior and light, airy, and fluffy interior. It was served both plain and with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. No one was really attracted to the “Brussels Waffle,” but the family selling them in Queens realized it was due to the name. As soon as they advertised it as a Belgian waffle, they saw a spike in consumer interest and popularity.
Waffle day began in Sweden through a mishap that mixed up similar words meaning waffles and “Our Lady’s Day”. It is celebrated in several European countries by eating waffles on March 25, and marks the beginning of spring.