Is any breakfast item more deserving of a national holiday than the waffle? The answer is obviously no, the waffle is the king of all breakfast foods and deserves a month-long holiday to celebrate its glory. While I work to petition Congress on that front, we can still celebrate waffles on March 25, International Waffle Day! In anticipation of this long-awaited holiday (I know you’ve all marked your calendars, too) here are 12 facts you probably didn’t know about this champion of breakfast.
1. Waffles have been around since the 14th century.
And people loved them then, too. The earliest known recording of a waffle recipe is in an anonymous manuscript called Le Ménagier de Paris, which was a set of instructions written by a Frenchman for his young wife. In it, the waffle-loving writer describes his own waffle recipe and even mentions an “iron”, leading historians to believe waffle irons were invented in the 13th-14th century.
2. Waffles inspired Nike’s first pair of sneakers.
Appropriately enough, they were called the Waffle Trainer. Bill Bowerman was watching his wife use their waffle iron one morning in 1971 when he was suddenly struck by the honeycomb shape of the waffle. He realized it would be the perfect shape for the sole of an athletic sneaker. Then, Bowerman actually used a waffle iron to create the first Nike sneaker sole.
3. The word “waffle” has Dutch origins.
Although we have proof that waffles may have gotten their start in France or even ancient China, the word “waffle” is descended from the Dutch word for “wafer”. The first use of the actual word “waffle” in the English language was in 1725. We have been a nation of waffle lovers for almost 300 years, people.
4. The Waffle House has sells 145 waffles a minute.
In total, since its inception 60 years ago, The Waffle House has sold 877 million waffles, half of which I will gladly take credit for. With that statistic, it’s not surprising that The Waffle House has solidified itself as the major waffle chain in the country.
5. The world’s biggest waffle is 8 feet long.
It sounds so beautiful I could cry. This eight feet and 110 pounds of pure waffle claimed the world record for “World’s Largest Waffle” in 2013. Stitching Gouda Oogst of the Netherlands was the mastermind behind this mega-waffle.
6. There are TWO waffle holidays.
I think we can all agree that no food deserves two holidays more than the waffle. International Waffle Day falls on March 25th thanks to those lovely Swedes and August 24th marks National Waffle Day in the US. Why? Because on that August day in 1869, Cornelius Swarthout (who sounds like he’s straight out of the Harry Potter universe) received the first U.S. patent for the waffle iron.
7. The founders of Eggo Waffles were original mayonnaise moguls.
Their empire, which thrived even during the Great Depression, was called Eggo Mayonnaise. I feel so weird right now. In 1932, brothers Frank, Anthony and Sam Dorsa created their mayo brand, which became an international hit. The brothers became so successful, they then moved on to waffles.
Why that was the next logical place to go is beyond me.
8.Thomas Jefferson brought to first waffle iron to America.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of waffles. Yes, one of our nation’s forefathers brought to us the modern waffle. Crude waffles had been made in the States since the pilgrims brought over the recipe 100 year previously, but this was the first, fancy French waffle maker to grace the U.S. of A.
9. The record for most waffles eaten in 10 minutes is 29 waffles.
Patrick Bertoletti is the current international champion for waffle eating, as well as a previous champion for the infamous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Wing Bowl. He ate 29 waffles in 10 minutes (which I would like to think I could also do), beating out former champion Joey Chestnut in 2007. Chestnut had set the record for 23 waffles in 10 minutes the year before.
Where did this happen, you ask? Why at the International Waffle Eating Contest because that’s a thing.
10. When Eggo frozen waffles were originally introduced in 1953, they had a different name.
And it’s the best name you could possibly think of. Before being named simply after the company in 1955, Eggo called their waffles Froffles. It’s a combination of “frozen” and “waffles” and I literally can’t stop laughing. I will never call Eggos anything but Froffles from now on, and you would be wise to join me.
11. A shortage of cups and a surplus of waffles inspired the ice cream cone.
When a Missouri ice cream vendor at the St. Louis World Fair ran out of ice cream cups in 1904, he asked the nearby waffle vendor to help him out. The ice cream vendor folded the waffles and used them to make the first ever ice cream cones.
12. Belgium waffles were originally called Brussels waffles.
The Belgium waffle was introduced in America at the 1962 Seattle World Fair. Maurice Vermersch, a Brussels native, was using his wife’s famous recipe to sell waffles as a fair vendor. Nervous that Americans wouldn’t know where Brussels was located, he changed the name to Belgium waffles, which stuck with US crowds.