Today is International Waffle Day, a tradition that is celebrated worldwide but mostly in Sweden. It’s a day to enjoy – guess what? – eating waffles. The day may have arisen out of confusion. Waffle Day in Swedish, Våffeldagen, sounds a lot like Our Lady’s Day,Vårfrudagen, (you really have to be on a street in Stockholm to get the full effect), a Christian holiday also known as Annunciation (the third Monday after Pronunciation), when the Archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary she was pregnant. Mary was understandably upset and did what any virgin would do upon being told she was pregnant – stuffed herself with waffles. Waffle Day also coincides with the beginning of Spring, another traditional day for eating waffles in Sweden. Therefore, if you see a Swede eating waffles today, you don’t know if it’s religious or secular or just hunger.
More interesting facts:
Waffles were made with cheese and herbs in ancient Greece.
The familiar grid pattern of today’s waffles originated in the Middle Ages. Some waffles had fancier designs such as coats of arms, landscapes and portraits of Middle Age people.
Waffles were so popular that they were even sold from street carts (by strange looking men who eventually switched to selling chestnuts and large pretzels).
In the late 1800’s, Thomas Jefferson returned from France with a waffle iron. It’s unclear how he got it through security.
Many folks in Britain celebrate International Waffle Day by eating rutabagas which are known there as Swedes. There is no International Rutabaga Day.
There is, however, a Lobster Newburg Day – and it’s today!
Lobster Newburg, lobster with a sherry and cognac infused, egg-thickened cream sauce, was first served at New York’s Delmonico’s in the 1870s. Delmonico’s was not only the first formal dining restaurant in the United States, it was the first to serve hamburger, the creator of Baked Alaska, the creator of Eggs Benedict, and of course the creator of Lobster Newburg. A waffle topped with Lobster Newburg, anyone?
I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do any thing. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more. – Dorothy Parker