A waffle is a batter-based or dough-based cake cooked in a waffle iron patterned to give a characteristic size, shape and surface impression. There are many variations based on the type of iron and recipe used, with over a dozen regional varieties in Belgium alone. Waffles are eaten throughout the world, particularly in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, and the United States.
The word “waffle” first appears in the English language in 1725: "Waffles. Take flower, cream..." It is directly derived from the Dutch ‘’wafel’’, which itself derives from the Middle Dutch ‘’wafele’’. While the Middle Dutch ‘’wafele’’ is first attested to at the end of the 13th century, it is preceded by the French ‘’walfre’’ in 1185; both are considered to share the same Frankish etymological root ‘’wafla’’. Depending on the context of the use of ‘’wafla’’, it either means honeycomb or cake. Alternate spellings throughout contemporary and medieval Europe include wafre, wafer, wâfel, waufre, gaufre, goffre, gauffre, wafe, waffel, wåfe, wāfel, wafe, vaffel, and våffla.
American waffles vary significantly, but are often made from a batter leavened with baking powder and may be round, square, or rectangular in shape. They are usually served as a sweet breakfast food, topped with butter and maple syrup, bacon, and other fruit syrups, honey, or powdered sugar.
They are also found in many different savory dishes, such as fried chicken and waffles or topped with kidney stew. They may also be served as desserts, topped with ice cream and various other toppings. They are generally denser and thinner than the Belgian waffle.
It’s in the late 14th century that the first known waffle recipe is penned in an anonymous manuscript, Le Ménagier de Paris, written by a husband as a set of instructions to his young wife. While it technically contains four recipes, all are a variation of the first: Beat some eggs in a bowl, season with salt and add wine. Toss in some flour, and mix. Then fill, little by little, two irons at a time with as much of the paste as a slice of cheese is large. Then close the iron and cook both sides. If the dough does not detach easily from the iron, coat it first with a piece of cloth that has been soaked in oil or grease. The other three variations explain how cheese is to be placed in between two layers of batter, grated and mixed in to the batter, or left out, along with the eggs.
Text Credit: Wikipedia || Image Credit: The Stag Cookbook: Written by Men For Men