If you didn't know it's National Waffle Day, here's your excuse to chow down on the breakfast classic at any hour.
Happy National Waffle Day! While it may be commonplace to enjoy waffles with maple syrup, whipped cream and perhaps some sliced fruit or chocolate chips, the modern waffle has been partnered with and merged into entirely new food groups. From fried chicken and waffles to waffle pizzas, there are infinite ways to enjoy the delicious breakfast staple.
While the waffle is commonly recognized as Belgian culinary fare, the original waffle first appeared during the Iron Age, when ancient Greeks cooked flat cakes called obelios (derived from the Greek term for “wafer”) between hot metal plates and served them as a savory dish with cheese and herbs.
The Catholic Church adopted the wafers (then called oublies) in medieval Europe, where they were stamped with Biblical scenes or religious images and served with communion. Throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, people from all echelons of society enjoyed oublies, which were often sold by street vendors. It was during this time that iron workers began creating plates in the recognizable honeycomb pattern.
In 1620, the pilgrims, who spent time in Holland, brought Dutch “wafles” (derived from wafia, a term coined by the English meaning “a piece of a honeybee hive”) to America. The word “waffle” appeared in print in English with two “f”s for the first time in 1735. In 1789, Thomas Jefferson brought a long-handle waffle iron back to America from France, triggering a waffle party trend in the U.S. (Side note: Can we bring these back?)
In 1869, New Yorker Cornelius Swartwout patented the first stovetop waffle iron in the United States. To commemorate this patent (but mostly just the waffle), our country celebrates National Waffle Day on August 24.
We’ve rounded up the six best places to grab a waffle in MKE.
This downtown Waukesha coffee shop serves up “wafels” made by Wafel Straat, a local waffle cart specializing in Belgian street-style waffles. Wafel Straat’s waffles are made in small batches with real butter, real vanilla and whole milk, and dusted with powdered sugar. Yum.
340 W. Main St., Waukesha
On the soul food buffet at Daddy’s Soul Food Grille is that classic, splendid balance of sweet and salty – fried chicken and waffles dusted with powdered sugar.
754 N. 27th St.
Putting a spin on traditional chicken and waffles, Brunch’s chicken and waffle sandwich features a Southern fried chicken breast between two buttermilk waffles and served with sriracha aioli and maple honey butter. Add bacon if you’d like.
800 N. Plankinton Ave.
Liège-style waffles are as decadent as honeycomb-patterned, iron-cooked breads get – rich, chewy brioche dough with a caramelized exterior. Toppings are as simple as powdered sugar, as complex as honey goat cheese and mild chutney. New summer toppings include peach, Brie and basil. On August 24, head to Cathedral Square Park, where Press. will be serving up their delicious waffles to Jazz in the Park attendees.
Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St.
Like Press., Café Benelux’s raison d’etre is Liège-style waffles, whose key ingredient is Belgian pearl sugar, which caramelizes the exterior and adds a pleasing crunch. Add fresh berries to the classic liège waffle, or opt for the bananas foster liège waffle, served with bananas, orange rum butter sauce, pistachios and whipped cream.
346 N. Broadway
Hom’s lunch menu boasts a buffalo chicken waffle – a Southern fried chicken filet tossed in blue cheese cream sauce and buffalo sauce and served on top of a fresh Belgian waffle.
Bayshore Town Center, 5750 N. Port Washington Rd., Glendale