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National Waffle Iron Day

Although the ancient Greeks cooked wafers similar to waffles using metal plates, what we'd recognize today as waffle irons got their start in Belgium in the fourteenth century. These irons consisted of metal plates that were hinged together and connected to wooden handles, which allowed them to be held over open fires. While the plates of modern waffle irons are honeycomb-shaped, which molds waffles in such a way so they can easily hold syrup and other toppings, early waffle iron plates had designs or etchings that left imprints in the waffles. The downside of these early irons was that the waffles, handles, and sometimes even the person using the iron were burned. Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York, patented the first American waffle iron in 1869. This iron was designed for cooking waffles over wood or gas stoves and easily rested on them. It had a handle that made it easy to turn over, which made it less likely that its user would get burned.

The first electric waffle irons started being made in 1911. Or, at least their prototype was made then; according to Smithsonian Magazine, they didn't go into production for another seven years. Waffle batter is poured onto their non-stick griddles, they are closed, and electricity heats them until waffles are made. In recent years, waffle irons have not only been used to make waffles, but for "waffling": the cooking of foods besides waffles in waffle irons, like breakfast foods, pizza, burgers, chicken, and even more obscure foods. In addition, waffle iron use hasn't even been confined to food—they've been used to help design shoes! Today we celebrate waffle irons for the waffles—and whatever else—they give us!

How to Observe National Waffle Iron Day

Take out your waffle iron, or go buy one if you don't have one, and make some waffles! If you get sick of eating waffles, you could do some waffling!

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