From Academic Kids

This article is about the food item, for the Canadian political movement, see The Waffle

Missing image
A French-style waffle.


A waffle is a batter cake cooked between two hot plates that are called a waffle iron. It has a distinctive gridlike appearance, the result of raised partitions on the waffle iron.

Waffles are considered typical of Belgium, which boasts several varieties of waffles with somewhat different recipes. A popular variant is the so-called Belgian waffle, which is lighter, taller, and crispier than standard waffles and is often served with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh strawberries, as a dessert. The Belgian Waffle was introduced into North America during the 1964 New York World's Fair.

In the United States, waffles are largely a sweet breakfast food, popular enough that the franchised restaurant chain Waffle House has more than 1,000 restaurants in 24 states. In 2001, it claimed to have sold more than 442 million waffles in the previous 46 years. Frozen waffles made their convenience food debut in U.S. grocery stores in 1953. They are heated in a toaster or microwave oven.

A Japanese waffle, or taiyaki (鯛焼き), is a batter cake cooked like other waffles, but typically shaped like a fish and filled with sweet paste called an.

In the U.K., a popular frozen food is the potato waffle, a savoury form made of reconstituted potatoes, oil and seasonings. The waffles may be baked, grilled or fried, and are used as a side dish.

History – Medieval Origins

The modern waffle has its origins in the late middle ages. Waffle irons consisted of two metal plates connected by a hinge, each plate was connected to a wooden arm. Some plates had imprinted designs such as a coat-of-arms or landscape, while some had the now-familiar honeycomb/gridiron pattern. The iron was placed over a fire and would need to be flipped manually to cook both sides of the waffle. These irons were used to produce a variety of different flat, unleavened cakes (usually from a mixture of barley and oats, not the white flour of today). Some were rolled into a horn or tube, others were left flat. In many cities, waffles were sold off carts by street vendors. Judging from extant illustrations, these vendors gave people their money's worth, as the waffles in question were about the size of a small pizza.

In medieval French, the term for this pastry was "oublie" (from Latin "oblata"), sold by "oubloyeurs" in the streets of Paris and other major cities.

See also

Rhetorical Usage

British usage of the term Waffle denotes language without meaning; blathering, babbling, droning. One might waffle throughout a term paper or a presentation, when not having enough material or needing to fill in time. People waffle at one another when they know nothing truly worthwhile to say.

In the United States, waffling is used as a derogatory term to describe a candidate or politician who is said to easily switch sides on issues to curry political favor. A waffle was famously used to represent President Bill Clinton in the Doonesbury comic strip. Synonymous with "flip-flop".

This usage dates back to the late-19th century in the United States, and apparently has no relation to the food. Etymologists say the term was derived from waff, a 17th-century onomatopoeia for the sound a barking dog makes, similar to the modern woof. Although the relationship between a dog's bark and indecisiveness is not entirely clear, the speculation is that the words of a waffler have no more meaning than a dog barking.


Waffling is the back-and-forth wing motion made by water birds such as ducks right before landing, to lose air from under their wings.

de:Waffel fr:gaufre ja:たい焼き sv:Vffla wa:Wfe


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools