The eternal struggle of finding something worthwhile to eat is a problem that plagues every living thing; us, our families and our friends included.
It’s not that there isn’t enough to choose from, but is rather a matter of having too much variety spicing up our lives.
So much so that our oldest and noblest types of food can often go under looked in the never-ending search.
So, let’s take a minute to remember the waffle, because they are still around, and they are as enjoyable today as they have ever been in the past.
There is no need for us to tell you what waffles are at this point, they are already one of the world’s most widely consumed and beloved snacks thanks to the variety, affordability, nutritional value and simplicity.
But let’s take a moment to look at some of their less spoken about aspects.
To do this, we will cover a brief history of waffles, particularly in English culture, we will take a look at what makes a waffle a waffle, see how they can form the best part of any meal, and give you a few good reasons to stock some in your home today.
So, let’s get started.
Where do waffles come from?
There are mixed opinions about the exact origin of waffles, but most sources seem to believe that they originally came from somewhere between France, Belgium and Germany well over 300 years ago.
Others have actually been able to trace the origins of the humble waffle to as far back in human history as the ancient Greeks, which it is said also sparked the invention of flat-cakes.
Whether originating in Europe or in ancient Greek, the first actual record of waffles only came much later. This is based on findings of ancient devices that represent two cast-iron shells that seem to have been designed in the same way that the modern waffle iron is; albeit much bigger and heavier and without the ability to be powered with electricity.
In the mid-18th century, a recipe book called ‘Court Cookery’ was published by Robert Smith, and in it, the first-ever mention of waffles being made between two hot irons can be found, proving that they have been around for at least 3 centuries.
This means that waffles have been a part of Western culture for hundreds, if not thousands of years; which could explain our affinity for them as a culture.
The Perfect Design
If the ancient Greeks used these irons to make flat-cakes, the results of their recipes may not have been strictly considered the same as what we know to be waffles today.
Naturally, they have undergone many changes over the years to retain their unique and specific design today.
Made with carefully leavened batter, pressed between irons with large square grids and toasted to perfection, we have come to be able to recognise them instantly.
So, let’s take a moment to talk about the significance of a waffle’s design.
The first thing you might notice when you look at a waffle is its unique and identifiable chequer design.
When cooked, waffle batter is placed between two hot irons, each with grooves in them that create a grid on the waffle once it is done.
These grids are there for more than just aesthetics and can tell us a lot about how waffles are supposed to be enjoyed.
That is to say, that these grids allow waffles to keep their toppings in place; whether those be syrup, sugar or creamy mushroom sauce. Yum!
The next important thing about the way waffles are made, comes in the form of their leavened batter.
To say that the batter is leavened is to say that it is mixed in such a way as to ensure that there is plenty of air in it.
When this leavened batter is cooked up in a waffle iron, it ensures that the waffle comes out porous. This allows it to soak in the juicy goodness of its toppings, making the waffle delicious inside out.
This is particularly the case in Dutch-style syrup waffles, which rely on their porousness to soak up every drop of that delicious syrup which gives them their characteristic taste and texture.
A Waffle at any Meal
When the average person thinks of a waffle, they imagine enjoying them as a sweet-treat; something sugary and syrupy to satiate that sweet tooth.
This is how they are typically prepared, but with a little extra creativity, they form an excellent basis for just about any type of meal at any type of day.
Waffles can be either savoury or sweet, which allows them to be the foundation of a fairly dynamic set of recipes.
Here are a few examples of how they can be enjoyed at just about any meal:
A Waffle for Breakfast
Waffles for breakfast can take on many forms. They can be sweet and sugary, delicious and savoury, or can be plain for somewhat of a healthier option.
Try waffles dusted with some powdered sugar and cinnamon for a light but tasty morning meal.
Of course, this doesn’t suit every day, since sugary waffles aren’t exactly the best thing to put into your body first thing in the morning.
For a more savoury option, consider your classic breakfast fry-up, including bacon, eggs, cheese, mushrooms and anything else you enjoy with your full breakfast, all on top of a golden-brown waffle.
Trying to be a bit more calory conscious, then a fry-up on a waffle might not be the best choice. That’s okay, households all over the planet are enjoying the idea of plain waffles for breakfast, right now.
A Waffle for Lunch
Waffles also make up a part of some excellent lunch-time recipes, whether those be for light-lunches, cocktail lunches or heavier ones.
There are thousands of exceptionally tasty savoury options that can be paired with waffles to suit the tastes of just about anyone.
Consider a mushroom and cheese sauce, savoury mince waffle, a cheese curry waffle, or again, a simple plain waffle for the perfect lunch of any size.
Not mad about any of the toping options mentioned above? Looking for a vegetarian option? Consider sautéed green or red beans as a replacement for any meat ingredients.
Waffles at Snack-Time
The trick to making an enjoyable snack between meals, and keeping them healthy, is to ensure that they are generally light and simple to make. Two things that can be done when opting for waffles during snack time.
This is particularly the case for pre-made waffles that can be packaged and stored so that they can simply be reheated for later use.
As with breakfast and lunch waffles, these can be combined with any of your favourite toppings, or even eaten as plain dessert waffles to hold you until dinner time.
Waffles for Dinner
Speaking of dinner time, this is also an excellent opportunity to make things tastier, more affordable and simpler by incorporating waffles into the recipe.
Are you and yours hungry and won’t settle for anything less than satisfying and delicious? Waffle!
Have you come home from a hard day of work and really don’t feel like whipping up an extravagant meal? Waffle.
Did you forget to prepare and now have to make the most out of whatever ingredients you can find in your house? You guessed it. Waffles.
Because they are tasty, easy to make (especially if pre-packed) and remarkably affordable, waffles are one of the best options for dinners that are not only quick and easy to whip up but are exciting and enjoyable to eat as well.
Waffles for Dessert
Now we get to probably the best and most creative way to enjoy a waffle. Personally, I’m quite the sweet-tooth, so there are very few boundaries for how I like to enjoy them as a dessert.
Sugar and cinnamon? Check!
A few squirts of delicious syrup or honey? Yes, please.
Powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, choc-chips, fruit and ice-cream, vanilla, custard, or let’s just go crazy and grate some Toblerone over all of that.
Your options are as limited as your blood-sugar threshold.
What Makes Waffles Perfect for any Home?
Now that we have gone through a few great ways to enjoy waffles in your home, let’s cover a couple of excellent reasons to do it.
Besides the fact that just about anybody enjoys the golden delicious taste of a well-made waffle, there are a number of reasons to always have stock of them in your home.
They are affordable when compared to other types of treats, they can add variety to snacks and meals, they can be adapted to a healthier option, they are easy to share and even easier to make.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
In a time when food seems to get more expensive by the day, people everywhere are looking for exciting ways to bring variety into their meals, without breaking the proverbial bank.
When it comes to snacks, desserts and treats, there seems to be an automatic price-hike ion this regard. So, finding ways to make meals both enjoyable and affordable, can be a challenge.
Waffles, and the many ways that they can add to or build the foundation of a meal, are remarkably affordable.
For instance, here at Blue Shirt Bakery, we sell 12 packs of 2 dessert waffles for just R253.12. That’s just over R10.50 per ready-made waffle.
As we have covered in the paragraph on how waffles fit into just about any meal, they form a foundational ingredient for an extremely wide array of recipes.
They can be added to other meals, or be completed with a range of differing sweet and savoury toppings to suit the taste-buds of just about anybody.
Can be Healthy
When you think of waffles, the first thing that comes into your mind might be a guilty pleasure of delicious sugary toppings like ice-cream, sugar, syrup, honey or chocolate.
This is fair enough. While this is one of the most preferred ways to enjoy a waffle, it isn’t the only one. They can actually make up a fairly healthy meal if the right efforts are put in.
Waffles can be topped with a variety of fruit types to make them better for you, while still retaining that wonderful sweetness. Applesauce is also an excellent option.
Looking for something a little more savoury, try peanut butter, cheese or mushroom sauce.
The options are practically endless.
Share with Friends & family
Waffles offer a substantial amount of food, and not everybody has the space to put them away, which makes them ideal for sharing snacks and meals with family and friends.
Each of our waffles at Blue Shirt Bakery is 18cm in diameter, which is a substantial amount.
When feeding children especially, who may struggle to put away larger portions of food, a waffle can go a lot further when shared between them.
Easy to Make
Whether you fry them us yourself or buy them ready to put toppings on to, waffles are also one of the easiest things to make, especially when you are in a pinch and don’t have much time to waste.
Are kids getting hangry? Waffle them!
Too hungry to cook? Whip up a waffle?
Not much time left to get hors d’oeuvres ready for arriving guests? You guessed it; waffles!
Waffles Keep Remarkably Well
So, you buy all of those wonderfully tasty waffles and realise that you’re not going to be able to get through all of them (without developing a waffle problem) before worrying about them going off.
It’s not a problem. Fortunately, waffles boast an exceptionally long shelf-life.
When kept at roughly room temperature, a pack of waffles can last up to 180 days before they need to be thrown away.
If you freeze them, however, you will be able to keep them for around a year.
Contact Blue Shirt Bakery for Something to Waffle About
Looking for unbeatable deals on exceptional waffles? Be sure to get into contact with a representative from Blue Shirt Bakery today, or visit our website for details.