History of Waffles


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Synonymous with Europe and a Belgian culinary specialty, waffles are a trendy menu item across Europe.  

Waffle popularity has transcended oceans to become a food item with a cultural denotation across the globe.

If you live America, for instance, waffles are more than a foreign delight but an indispensable breakfast item.

Personally, for long as I can remember, waffles have been a delicious, and toasty breakfast treat and staple in many homes, restaurants, and even breakfast recipe books. 

And like all the best things in life, waffles are quite versatile with regards to their composition, with each region having its version of ingredients and cooking.

However, according to The Nibble, the prominent points of departures from the different waffles include the inclusion or absence of yeast, toppings, caramelized sugar, fillings, and leavings.

Whatever the case, we can all agree that waffles are an amazing delicacy.

While most people know how to conjure this food item, the history of waffle is a tad vague, with its evolution shrouded with mystery and intrigues.

But that stops from now.

Humble Beginnings of Waffles

Waffles are considered the oldest dessert in history.

According to food historians, the origin of waffles can be traced back to ancient Greece.

The original waffle started as a basic version of flat cakes, which were made by roasting the cakes between two metal plates.

Besides the rudimentary cooking style, the original waffles weren`t particularly tasty or sweet and were made from pulped cereals.

At the time, the cakes were referred to as obelios.

Later in Medieval Europe, the Catholic Church began making waffles to serve as meals symbolizing blessings.

A breakthrough to the waffle design came when the church permitted artisans to make their obelios.

 It`s during this period that artistic versions of the waffles were introduced. It`s also a time when cooks began using additives such as honey, butter, cream and a host of other spices.

It`s during the 15th century that the leavening agents, creamier toppings, leavening agents and spices became a staple with the waffles.  The waffles became doughier and thicker and got spiced with ginger and cinnamon.

A major highlight, however, came when the Dutch introduce a rectangular grid pattern metal plates-the precursor for the modern-day waffle irons.

It`s not exactly clear why the rectangular grid pattern was developed, and there are mixed views about this. Regardless, however, the rectangular grid pattern is heralds today`s waffle irons.

It`s in the 18th century that waffles become more popular with each country creating its version of waffles.

In France, for instance, gaufres were cooked from cloves, coffee waffles became popular in Germany, while the Spaniard cooked their cloves using wine and lemon zest.

At the time, however, waffles were not exactly a breakfast item, but a snack to be served in between meals. This is not until the waffles were introduced in America by the Dutch. It`s here that the waffles ware now paired with maple syrup to make the perfect breakfast item.

While many people enjoyed waffles sold by vendors, waffles true popularity exploded with the invention of the first stovetop waffle iron in the 1800s. Twenty years later, the first stovetop hit the shelve and waffles become a staple in many homes and restaurants.

Since then, waffles have gained prominence, and today, they dominate the breakfast scene across many homes globally.

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