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International Waffle Day

International Waffle Day is observed around the world but is most prominently celebrated in Sweden, the country where it started and where it is simply known as Waffle Day. It takes place on the same day as the Feast of Annunciation, a holiday that celebrates Jesus' conception, which occurs nine months before Christmas. In the Swedish language, Vårfrudagen means "Our Lady Day," another name for the Feast of Annunciation. It sounds similar to Våffeldagen, which means "Waffle Day." International Waffle Day got its start after the Swedes started called the Feast of Annunciation "Waffle Day" and started eating waffles to celebrate. The day then spread to other countries.

Precursors to waffles existed over 4,000 years ago when hotcakes were cooked on heated stones and were flipped so that both sides received heat. At some time during the Iron Age, heated iron plates, or griddles, were used on both sides of these cakes. In Ancient Greece, and later during the Middle Ages, many variations of these cakes were made, which were called oublies. The first known "waffle" recipe was made in the late fourteenth century, but it was a waffle in name only, as it did not include a leavening agent. What we now know as a waffle began taking shape in the fifteenth century, with the food being made in the familiar grid pattern; leavening agents began being used during the following century.

In 1725, the word waffle was first used in the English language, and recipes spread throughout England and America. Many of these were based on earlier Dutch, French, Belgian, and French recipes. Cornelius Swartwout patented a waffle iron in 1869, but it wasn't until the 1910s that General Electric's electric waffle iron was introduced. By the 1930s, waffle irons were standard kitchen appliances. In 1953, the Dorsa brothers introduced frozen waffles, and they changed their name to Eggo in 1955. A variation of the Belgian waffle became popular after being introduced at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. In Sweden, flatter, heart-shaped waffles are the most common and are often topped with jam, berries, or cream. On International Waffle Day, people around the world eat waffles in this or any variety of ways.

How to Observe International Waffle Day

You should be eating waffles today! Have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! You could make them at home from scratch, have frozen waffles, or go out to a Waffle House. There are many types of waffles you could try. You could make a Belgian waffle or one of many other recipes! The best kind to try today may be Swedish waffles. You could even pick up a heart-shaped Swedish waffle iron!

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