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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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waffle a leavened batter cooked in a waffle iron or other device to give it its characteristic honeycomb shape. The relation of this to wafer is discussed in the preceding entry. The Netherlands and Belgium continue to be the part of Europe where most waffles are eaten. However, they have become even more important in N. America. Mariani (1994) comments that, ‘The item was known to the Pilgrims, who had spent time in Holland before sailing to America in 1620, and “waffle parties” became popular in the latter part of the eighteenth century.’ In the early 20th century, thicker ‘Belgian’ waffle irons became available and their thickness and deep honeycomb pattern gives them an ability to support lots of butter, maple syrup, or whipped cream, or alternatively various savoury preparations such as the kidney stew on waffles said to have been a favourite dish at Baltimore. They have become an important breakfast food.