This week-end, or around March 25, brings out the urge for waffles in Sweden. This is a tradition that is celebrated in Sweden, and to a lesser extent elsewhere. As it turns out, waffles are such a popular world-wide phenomenon, that they merit two days in the calendar to celebrate them.
However, this sweet tradition is created through a mispronunciation. The name comes from Vårfrudagen (“Our Lady’s Day“), which in vernacular Swedish sounds almost like Våffeldagen (waffle day). Our Lady’s Day falls on the same date (nine months before Christmas). The day historically marks the beginning of spring
Related: Totally Swedish in London
If you are in Sweden on or around March 25, chances are you’d eat waffles! In Sweden the heart shaped waffle iron is the most common, but it didn’t come into existence until the 19th century. Waffles is an old dish, dating back to the Middle Ages, when they were grilled over an open fire and the waffle irons were different than the heart shaped used today.
The alternative Waffle Day (on August 24th) began in the USA and honors the anniversary of the patenting of the first US waffle iron invented by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York.
Waffles used to be a food eaten everyday dressed up or down depending on occasion. Whichever day is picked to honor it however, the waffle is certainly deserving of celebration. The simplest waffles contained only flour and water, but for festive affairs cream, sugar, butter and eggs were added. Eating waffles with cream and jam, like Swedes do today, became popular at the beginning of the 20th century.
Related: Food and Drink in Sweden
The remarkable dough-based gridded cakes can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, snack or dessert. It was something most people enjoyed with their coffee after their Sunday walk. And then there is that whole other business of the potato waffle, different but still delectable.
In older days there were several “våffelbruk” (waffle farms) around Stockholm and other cities and towns where one would gather, so take this day to explore the variety that the world of the waffle has to offer you.
A true authentic Swedish waffle receipt
3 ½ oz butter
1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons milk
Melt butter.Whip together flour, baking powder and salt with half of the milk until you have an even batter. Pour in the rest of the milk, eggs and the melted butter, whip until thoroughly mixed. Heat the waffle iron and brush with butter. Pour in 6 tablespoons of batter and bake until golden brown. Serve with whipped cream and Felix Lingonberry Jam.
Makes 8 waffles.
Waffle Day in Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg