Apparently on a trip to Europe, Thomas Jefferson sampled waffles while in Holland and brought back a taste for them to America along with Italian olive oil and French mustard.
The earliest version of waffles began with a pancake type batter between two metal plates in Greece thousands of years ago. Waffles are made from leavened batter or dough cooked between two metal plates (making a waffle iron) which have various patterns. Variations exist by the type of waffle “iron” and recipe used. The first waffle iron patent was awarded to Cornelius Swartwout of Troy, New York, in 1869. People around the world enjoy waffles.
“Waffles are just awesome bread.” – John Green
Waffle irons dating from as early in the 18th century through the mid-20th century are on display at the National Museum of American History (Smithsonian). The museum is open every day except December 25. Admission is free. Christmas is a great family day for having waffles.
“According to the restaurant chain Waffle House, approximately 145 waffles are sold at the eatery throughout the United States every minute.” – americanhistory.si.edu/blog/history-waffle
“I love the smell of Waffle House; it’s the smell of freedom, being on the open road and knowing that ninety percent of the people eating around you are also on that road. Truck driver’s, road-trippers, hangovers–those who don’t live that monotonous life of society slavery.” – J.A. Redmerski
When I was growing up it was a special day when we had waffles. You had to mix the batter, put out the waffle iron and heat it up, wipe the plates down with cooking oil, pour the batter on the iron grill, and bring the top down and cook until the waffle was golden brown. We would have to make sure the waffle peeled off well and place the waffle on a plate for buttering. We would cook enough waffles for everyone before we started eating, which usually meant most would be either cool or cold.
A couple of years ago I bought the latest waffle iron and nothing really had changed much. It was a lot of messy work. We donated the waffle iron to St. Vinnies. Now we either purchase frozen waffles and warm them via a toaster oven, visit a local restaurant, or find other avenues.
“Life is too short to wonder where you hid your waffle maker.” – Paula Deen
Our daughter-in-law, Wendy and her family make traditional Norwegian waffles, called ebelskivers for Christmas breakfast. The waffle iron is small and the heated iron plates are deep with scoops that match up with the other plate. The crispy brown balls of cooked batter are hot and wonderful. You use whichever topping your little heart desires: butter, jam, syrup or fruit like strawberries or homemade applesauce. I’m sure some youngster topped his with chocolate syrup over ice cream. They are crispy, very tasty and everyone loves them.
I love the make-you-own waffle at many hotels with breakfast bars. They offer either a little paper cup filled with the exact amount of batter or they have a dispenser that will fill the little cup. You then pour the batter onto the grill, close the lid, and turn the iron over. It starts cooking immediately and beeps when it is time to turn the iron back around and peel the waffle off the iron and put in on your plate. While the waffle is cooking I use my time wisely. I unwrap several pats of butter and place them on my empty plate, and then peel about six more. When the waffle is done I place it on top of the plate with the pats of butter and then I place the extra pats on top of the waffle and add syrup. If need be I’ll place it in the microwave for ten to fifteen seconds to assure a warm waffle, warm syrup, and melted butter. Usually one good waffle is enough for my main breakfast course. I also add fresh fruit and juice to even things out a bit . . . but not on MY waffle.
“We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work, it doesn’t matter. But work is third.” – Amy Poehler
Restaurants that serve breakfast are my favorite places for waffles. Some restaurants are beginning to follow the lead of restaurants from the south by offering waffles and southern fried chicken. Personally, I hate to wait for fried chicken when what I want is the waffle, but many people enjoy this breakfast treat.
Many people also like to order a Belgian waffle. These are usually thicker and offer the opportunity to serve them with variations of fruit, creams, and jams. Belgian waffles are thicker and larger because they come from a waffle iron with deeper grids. These deeper grids allow the fruit and cream additions to soak in nicely. The Belgian waffle batter also uses a leavening agent or egg whites. This allows the batter to deliver a much lighter and fluffier treasure than regular waffles.
I prefer regular waffles, however. Rectangular , square, round, or heart-shaped designs don’t matter as long as I can have butter and syrup and a fried egg or two on top. This gives a very rich taste with almost every single bite. If I can have two layers of waffle then I am in heaven.
“Poetry is a mystic, sensuous mathematics of fire, smoke-stacks, waffles, pansies, people, and purple sunsets.” – Carl Sandburg