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International Waffle Day is March 25th

Updated on July 2, 2017

All About Waffles with history and recipes from all over the world!

March 25 is International Waffle Day. Amazingly enough, this day has been connected to waffles for several hundred years thanks to our friends the Swedes.

Why did International Waffle Day begin in Sweden?

March 25 is the Christian holiday of the Annunciation, when Jesus' mother Mary was told that she would bear a son, nine months before Christmas. The Swedes began the tradition of eating waffles on this day some time after the late 1600s. For more history, and the confusion between the holiday name and waffles, see the history section below. This day is also the day when Swedes celebrate the beginning of spring.

What should I put on my international waffle?

You could eat it with maple syrup or whatever other topping you are accustomed to. But why not try something else? This page will introduce you to other options that are popular all around the world. Willing to take a chance? How about Waffles Hong Kong style with sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter?

Recipes?

The original Swedish waffle recipe is below (notice it has cardamon, the popular Scandinavian spice), along with a healthy oatmeal waffle recipe from the US. There are also links to waffle sites around the world so you can see and try the local variations.

Happy International Waffle Day to you!

photo by elynmac

And just so you are clear...

National Waffle Day in the US is on August 24th. The end of the summer is a great time to get the waffle iron out again and make the national favorite, waffles with butter and maple syrup!

The Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Annunciate, 1494-97, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
The Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Annunciate, 1494-97, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The Origin of International Waffle Day: The Feast of the Annunciation * Our Lady Day

The holiday that was the start of International Waffle Day is the Feast of the Annunciation, the day the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would be mother to Jesus, the Son of God. The festival day was always celebrated nine months before Christmas, on the 25th of March.

Name confusion?

In Swedish, Annunciation Day is called Varfurdagen (Day of Our Lady), and the word for "waffle" is incredibly similar: Vaffeldagen. (Waffle day). And so the custom of eating waffles began on Annunciation Day in Sweden, where the similarity of the two words provided a wonderful excuse to celebrate the holiday with delicious waffles.

It is amazing to discover that the origin of International Waffle Day has deep history in the Christian church and a linguistic tongue twister!

Waffles: Sweet & Savory Recipes for Every Meal
Waffles: Sweet & Savory Recipes for Every Meal

Do you like non-sweet waffles? There are some good ideas here.

 

Sweden and Scandinavia

Birthplace of International Waffle Day

Swedish waffle for International Waffle Day - March 25
Swedish waffle for International Waffle Day - March 25

This recipe and photo is from The Wanderings of a Swede website.

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Ready in: 30 min
  • Yields: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • beaten with:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Mix the dry ingredients and add:
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Add in: 2/3 cup sour cream
  • Fold in: 3 Tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Make sure that your waffle iron is fully heated before you begin. Brush it with melted butter, and pour in enough batter so the iron is 2/3 to 3/4 covered in batter, then close the iron.
  2. Follow the instructions for your waffle maker. You can watch the edges, and look for the steam to begin to stop coming out of the iron if you have no instructions. If you time them, you will soon know how much your waffle iron takes at a certain setting, and can use a timer to cook them if you want to be precise.
  3. For traditional Swedish waffles, serve with real whipped cream and jam - cloudberry if you can find it!
Cast your vote for Swedish Sour Cream and Cardamom Waffle Recipe

Want to hear about it in Swedish?

You get to hear a waffle-eater explain it in Swedish! The proper pronunciation comes at the beginning of the video - listen carefully.

In Sweden they don't eat waffles with syrup. They eat them with Cloudberry jam. Isn't that a wonderful name? Cloudberries are a bit like blackberries. Strawberry or raspberry jam is good too, and comes in a close second, along with fresh strawberries. Yum. Don't you want some?

Cloudberries
Cloudberries

What is a cloudberry?

Rubus chamaemorus, a fruit that grows in arctic areas - way up north!

Maybe they should be called "ice and snow berries" because they grow in such a cold part of the world!

What do they look like and where are they found?

They look like raspberries and blackberries, but the green part of the plant does not look the same, as you can see. These beautiful berries - shining with the color of the clouds at dawn - grow in bogs, wet meadows, and marshes in the northern latitudes such as Scandinavia and northern Canada. Norwegians are so fond of them that they now cultivate them all over Norway.

What do they taste like?

They are tart, like a lot of wild berries, very juicy, and are described as being "delicate" in taste.

Do these berries have nutritional benefits like other berries?

They have lots of vitamin C, and also, interestingly enough, benzoic acid, which is a preservative. The leaves of the cloudberry plant are used as herbal medicine to treat urinary tract infections.

How are they used?

On top of ice-cream, on top of waffles, in tarts, in juices, in liqueurs, and in Canada they use them to flavor beer.

That elusive Cloudberry Jam

Hafi Swedish Cloudberry Preserves, 14.1 oz Jar in a BlackTie Box
Hafi Swedish Cloudberry Preserves, 14.1 oz Jar in a BlackTie Box

This is the real thing, if you want to be a purist.

 

Um, do you remember the Swedish Chef on the Muppets? - He made flapjacks - the cousin of the waffle

I couldn't bear to leave this out. It will make your day.

An electric waffle maker - no need for the blunderbuss!

Proctor-Silex 26500Y Durable Belgian Waffle Baker
Proctor-Silex 26500Y Durable Belgian Waffle Baker

The Belgian Waffle Maker - these are the ones with deep craters so you can put lots of topping on it. The deeper the crater, the bigger the excuse for putting on lots of topping.

 

Asia - Home of Unique Flavors

Hong Kong Waffles - Add sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter on top!

Hong Kong Waffle with Sweetened Condensed Milk
Hong Kong Waffle with Sweetened Condensed Milk

You can buy waffles in the street stalls in Hong Kong, and children like them for a snack on the way home from school - not just on weekends or International Waffle Day! What do they put on top? Sweetened condensed milk and probably some peanut butter too. You might want to give it a try. This photo is from christinesrecipes.com, where there is a recipe for Hong Kong Waffles. They use evaporated milk instead of real milk - the end result? A creamier texture.

Pandan Coconut Waffle
Pandan Coconut Waffle

Pandan Waffles from Vietnam

Yes, they are green!

Pandan Waffles are one of the favorite foods to buy from street stalls in Vietnam. They are made with Pandan fruit and coconut milk, and although they carry the greenish color of Pandan, the flavor is more of coconut. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, they are usually eaten without any extra sugar or syrup. So if you are ever in Asia and see a green colored waffle, make sure you try it. The photo is from www.vietworldkitchen.com, and you can visit them if you need a recipe.

Japanese Waffles - They look like a fish and are filled with red bean paste!

In Japan waffles are often sold in food stalls around temples and other bustling places where people need a quick hot snack. You can also buy them in boxes to take home for your family. The dough taste like waffle dough, but stuffed in-between the waffle sandwich is a layer of red bean paste. Asian people are not so crazy about ultra sweet foods, so this is a nice middle way - both nutritious as well as slightly sweet. I love these Japanese fish waffles straight out of the waffle irons. The link is listed below in the links section.

I have friends that don't like red bean paste. When my husband first went to Japan to study Japanese years ago he saw an ice cream sundae in wax form in the window of a cafe (they have lots of wax food models so you you can see what your food will look like) and went in to order one. He was a poor student, so this was a big splurge. Imagine his dismay when an ice cream sundae with red bean paste on top was brought to his table. He ate the ice cream and left the red beans and never did that again. Still, once you eat red bean paste a few times, it grows on you. I actually like it now!

Happy Sales HSTYK1,  Taiyaki Pan Fish shape, 8W x 2H x 12L, Black
Happy Sales HSTYK1, Taiyaki Pan Fish shape, 8W x 2H x 12L, Black

You don't have to go to Japan to get a Japanese fish shaped waffle maker! You can just order them on Amazon.

 

Europe - Where waffles originated

Stroopwafels -the Dutch cookie version of the waffle - A small waffle sandwich with carmel in the middle

Stroopwafels
Stroopwafels

Stroop is "syrup" and "wafel" is how they spell "waffle" in the Netherlands. " The English word "waffle" comes from the Dutch, which has its origins in Middle Low German.

These cookie-wafels are outrageous. They are especially good if you heat them up in the toaster or frying pan, which melts the carmel into a molten state and heats the waffle to fragrant perfection. These can be found in gourmet shops in the US, and are worth trying if you have never had the good fortune to eat one in the past.

If you live in the Netherlands, you will be able to buy these in the markets and enjoy their fragrance right after they are made. Lucky Dutch!

photo by elynmac

Which came first, the waffle cookie or the plain waffle? - No one knows. But here are some gorgeous plain waffle cookies from the Netherlands

waffle cookies
waffle cookies

The origin of the word waffle:

From the Dutch wafel, also the source of the word wafer. The earliest time it was used in print in English was approximately 1744, when used to describe a social function called a wafel-frolic. What were they up to? It was an evening devoted to making and eating waffles.

Click the photo to visit the site
Click the photo to visit the site

The Liege Waffle from Belgium

With a crispy layer of caramelized sugar - no syrup needed

When we hear the word "Belgian" put together with the word "waffle" we instantly think of the deep-cratered waffle that was popularized during the world's fair in New York City during the 1960s that was served with strawberries and whipped cream. I can tell you how good they were because I ate quite a few of them on my visits to the fair. But this one is different - a Belgian Waffle, but from the town of Liege, where some genius cook came up with this version of waffles many years ago.

Check out the caramelized sugar coating... it is cook onto the waffle, so timing and temperature are critical for cooking this beauty. Link to the best recipe is below in the links section.

Dutch Waffles - disappearing in a cloud of whipped cream!

Dutch waffle
Dutch waffle

Dutch waffles that you can buy on the street have a different texture than the ones you can find in the US. They are more chewy, and have an almost caramel taste to them. Usually eaten with plain confectioner's sugar sprinkled on top, they can also be drowned in whipped cream. Or even more outrageous, with whipped cream and cherry sauce, similar to a Belgian waffle. Yes, I had a latte too!

French Gaufrettes Waffle Cookies - Just a little naughty

Gaufrettes Amusantes
Gaufrettes Amusantes

In the North of France you can find a waffle cookie called Gaufrettes Amusantes, which are waffles with a sense of humor. The waffles have funny phrases stamped on the cookie that will give you a good laugh. What do they say? Things like: "Allo Cheri" - "Hello Darling" or the one shown here: "Cha n'vaut pas un pet d'lapin" (it's not worth a rabbit fart). Now that's a sense of humor to get you laughing during tea time!

Pizzele
Pizzele

Pizelle - The Italian Waffle cookie

One of the earliest waffle creations

Pizzelle are a traditional Italian waffle cookie that can be either hard and crisp, or else can be soft and chewy, depending on the ingredients and where the cookie recipe originated in Italy. The traditional flavors are lemon peel, anise, or vanilla. The cookie part is stamped with a pattern which is very beautiful, and they are often covered with sifted confectioner's sugar, which makes them a great cookie for Christmastime.

Pizzelles can be rolled up to make cannoli tubes, or sandwiched together with hazelnut or cannoli cream in the middle. When I was a kid I didn't think these had much taste. At least not the ones in my neighborhood! But with older tastebuds, I am getting to like them a lot. And if you add cannoli cream? Wow. They are awesome.

North American Waffles

Healthy and Light Oatmeal Waffle

Healthy and Light Oatmeal Waffle
Healthy and Light Oatmeal Waffle
Healthy and Light Oatmeal Waffles
Healthy and Light Oatmeal Waffles

Crispy and Chewy

This is my favorite recipe. We live in China, and for years it was impossible to get maple syrup. We discovered that jam was a wonderful substitute, and love all kinds - raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, apricot, plum, and peach. If you add some whipped cream, the fragrance and flavor deepens and you might not be able to stop...

Ingredients

  • Put to soak in a bowl:
  • 2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks (save whites to add in at the end).
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • Assemble Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • half whole wheat works well.
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • Mix the dry with the wet
  • stirring until barely mixed. Then fold in:
  • 4 egg whites
  • beaten until stiff.

Instructions

  1. 1. Put all the liquid ingredients in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes to soften the oatmeal.
  2. 2. Assemble the dry ingredients and fold them in to the wet until just barely mixed.
  3. 3. Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into the batter.
  4. 4. You are ready to cook them in your waffle maker in the usual way.
  5. You can serve them whole, or cut them into hearts for the people you love.
Cheddar and Bacon Cornmeal Waffles
Cheddar and Bacon Cornmeal Waffles

Canadian Waffles

Cheddar and Bacon Cornmeal Waffles

International Waffel Day was brought to Canada by their Swedish settlers, and has adapted to the frosty northern environment and cuisine. When it's cold, you need some real protein, and this is the result. Eggs Benedict with Cheddar sauce on Bacon Waffles. This recipe will keep you feeling full for hours! The photo and recipe are from Canadian Living, where you will find full instructions for this waffle.

A waffle joke

What do you get if you cross a dog and a waffle?

A woofle.

More fun waffle recipes from around the world!

ASIAN

Hong Kong Waffles

This is the recipe which recommends sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter. Maybe it would be tasty? Think peanut butter cookies? Or you could add some chocolate syrup...

Japanese Taiyaki Waffles in the shape of a fish

These fish shaped waffles are sold in street stalls near temples and other bustling places. They are delicious hot out of the waffle iron, and are good cold too. The traditional recipe has red bean paste in the middle, but this recipe called for an apple raisin filling, which I thought might be a more familiar taste for most people.

EUROPEAN

Crispy French Waffles with Salty Caramel Sauce

The salt in the caramel sauce takes away the ultra sweet taste. This is a classic European flavor, similar to Dutch Stroopwafels.

Waffles with an Italian Twist

These waffles are listed as being light and airy, with Italian Prosciutto ham baked into them. No need for sausage or bacon here!

Traditional Liege Waffles This is THE recipe if you want to make the traditional Liege waffle. It is made with yeast, and the outside has caramelized sugar. Absolutely gorgeous, but not easy to make.

Stroopwafels

It could be that stroopwafels are the earliest form of waffle with their Dutch heritage. In my mind they fall under the category of gooey cookie, but this is probably the mother of all wafels, so who am I to say what is cookie and what is waffle?

The Italian Waffle - Pizzelle

Pizzelle means "small, flat, and round" in Italian. They have a long history and have been popular in Italy since the 700s. This recipe came from an Italian grandmother - you will like it. A pizzelle iron is necessary to make them, but they are available on Amazon and in gourmet shops.

US and CANADA

Southern US Soul Food - Fried Chicken and Buttermilk Waffles

Really? Yes indeed. It is a popular soul food for Americans in the south, according to Emeril Lagasse. This is waffles topped with fried chicken and sloshed in butter and maple syrup. Chef Lagasse adds creole seasoning to spice it up!

Whole Grain Waffles

So many people are concerned about their health these days, that these whole grain waffles have been reviewed by 400 plus people and are very popular on Allrecipes.com.

Sweet Potato Waffles

An American invention, these are the cozy Sunday morning version for sweet potato lovers.

So what do you think? - What kind of waffle you would like to try on International Waffle Day?

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Nice lens! If we do hold such a holiday from where I come from, I'll definitely celebrate it! I love waffles and pancakes for breakfast!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image
      Author

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      @charlenedelfin lm: Wow - a hotdog in a waffle? That's a great way to eat them! I like it!

    • charlenedelfin lm profile image

      charlenedelfin lm 4 years ago

      Wow, the content of this Lens is international! In the Philippines, our waffles are filled with hotdog, but I would like to try the Hong Kong waffles on International Waffle Day.

    • sconnelly711 profile image

      sconnelly711 4 years ago

      I would definitely try the Hong Kong waffles, they sound awesome!!

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Very Nice lens! Thumbs up

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      My Mom was from Belgium so I love those but have to admit, the best I ever ate were in Mont St Michel France. They sell them everywhere and were fantastic. Squid Angel blessed.

    • rachelscott profile image

      rachelscott 5 years ago

      I still remember that day i celebrate it with my family and friends.

    • craftycrow profile image

      craftycrow 5 years ago

      I don't always like the history part of the lenses but this time it was interesting. THanks. It goes back that far? Wow. I love waffles with ice cream like you get at the New Jersey shore. mmmm....

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 5 years ago

      Belgian waffles sound good. I don't get them very often and they nice and big.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      I love waffles. I remember when I was in Brussels, Belgium, I bought a warm waffle dusted with powdered sugar from a cart on the corner, kind of like getting a hot dog in New York. Congratulations on being one of the top lenses for Silly Celebrations in March. Blessed!

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 5 years ago

      Yummm. I love waffles, therefore I love this lens!

    • Northwestphotos profile image

      Northwestphotos 5 years ago

      I would love to try the Dutch waffle. The caramel in the middle sounds delicious!

    • profile image

      sanchit11 5 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image

      howtop10 5 years ago

      Blueberry waffles all the way!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Rats, missed Waffle Day. I suggest that you put a count-down module on this lens. Blessed.

    • profile image

      seopintar 5 years ago

      I just found out today about this celebration. in my country there is no event like this

    • abb1fan profile image

      abb1fan 5 years ago

      Sorry I missed the big day

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      I do like waffles although I must admit I eat them very rarely here in the UK. Your lens was so mouth wateringly delicious though, I may have to change that.

    • THNeto profile image

      THNeto 5 years ago

      Desperate for a waffle after reading your lens! Loved finding out the origin of it from the similar-sounding words.

    • fivee05 lm profile image

      fivee05 lm 5 years ago

      I love eating waffles in the morning.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What an amazing celebration of International Waffle Day! I'm a little late but sure am ready for a waffle right now...maybe more than one.

    • CashInTheHand LM profile image

      CashInTheHand LM 5 years ago

      Just had Alaskan Waffles for supper. Mmmmmm.

    • jordanmilesbask profile image

      jordanmilesbask 5 years ago

      yummy! makes me hungry..great lens!

    • profile image

      getwellsoon 5 years ago

      I love the thick Belgian waffles the best!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens.

      My favorite parts about your lenses were:

      -the vibrant colors and amazing images

      -the international and cultural inclusion of various waffles

      -the original content

    • imlifestyle profile image

      imlifestyle 5 years ago

      Great lens, I have to say that the Japanese stuffed waffle really intrigued me. Thanks..

    • NatureLuver profile image

      NatureLuver 5 years ago

      I haven't had breakfast yet, so this made me hungry.

    • profile image

      hftm69 5 years ago

      Oh this things looks so tasty!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I love waffles... :) YUMMY! Blessed!

    • profile image

      KKBOOKSTORE 5 years ago

      live waffles

    • KateW39 profile image

      KateW39 5 years ago

      The waffle look delicious.

    • Frednun1965 profile image

      Fred Alb 5 years ago from Uruguay

      Waffles!! that rich! yum, yum yum.

      I like your lens, not just the waffles, heeee!

    • Gabriel360 profile image

      Gabriel360 5 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice article with great waffle photos.

    • profile image

      trola99 5 years ago

      yes

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image
      Author

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      @zafeyry: That's a great idea. Custard might be nice too. Yum!

    • profile image

      zafeyry 5 years ago

      The Japanese waffles look great, but instead of filling them with bean paste, I would fill them with chocolate!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Thank you for a wonderful lens and making me extra hungry! ;)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great lens! I love waffles and make them nearly every time my grandkids visit. Yummy!

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Happy International Waffle Day!

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Fascinating to learn about the different types of and topping for waffles around the world. Loved the photos and glad you included the video of the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show. Hilarious!

    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 5 years ago

      Waffle day greetings to all the visitors..

    • BlogsWriter profile image

      BlogsWriter 5 years ago

      Great to have International waffles day around, someone in the world decided; and I am sure he loved waffles.

    • profile image

      Xixilater 5 years ago

      Waffles are so wonderful...I had no idea about their origin...nor did I know how they have managed to make their way all over the world. FABULOUS lens! (The videos were a wonderful addition!)