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Waffles - History

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Category: Breakfast

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Waffles are as American as apple pie, and like apple pie are an import. The
word "waffle" and probably the food, comes to us from the Dutch "wafel",
but the French eat them too, calling them "gaufre" from the Old French
"wafla". Whatever their provenance, waffles have been eaten by Americans
since Pilgrim times.

Europeans eat their waffles as a sweet course, topping them with powdered
sugar, whipped cream, or honey or stuffing them with icing. Americans have
occasionally served waffles for dessert - perhaps a chocolate waffle with
ice cream - but in general we eat them for breakfast with all-American
maple syrup. At least NOW we do, if we eat waffles at all.

But in the Thirties, and before that, Americans ate waffles with virtually
anything that could be spooned or poured over their bumpy, golden tops. And
we ate them for breakfast, for luncheon, and for supper. If we served them
to guests at a Sunday Night Supper, it became a waffle supper, "sure to be
a party guests remember," according to the General Foods cookbook "All
About Home Baking" (1933).

And we made waffles with just about everything: Cheese waffles; cornmeal
waffles; coconut, pineapple, and chocolate waffles; gingerbread waffles;
banana waffles; cheese and tomato, date, and peanut butter waffles; apple
waffles; oatmeal waffles; and prune, bran, apricot, and even pea pulp
waffles (which Pictorial Review featured as one of their best recipes for

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