National Waffle Day is Sunday, Aug. 24. We know that at The DP List because we like waffles. What we didn't know was just how many types of waffles there are and the history of them.
According to "Antique Electric Waffle Irons 1900-1960: A History of the Appliance Industry," waffles were first sold on the street in 1603, "but the treat first came to America with Dutch immigrants to New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in the 17th century."
It wasn't until the late 19th century that home stove tops became common, and stove-top waffle irons became available, writes Chris Schonberger in "A History of Waffles in America." The first patent for one was issued to Cornelius Swartwout of Troy, N.Y., on Aug. 24, 1869, which is why Aug. 24 is National Waffle Day. In 1911, General Electric developed a prototype for the first electric waffle iron.
As for types of waffles, everyone knows the typical American waffle, which can be a sweet or a savory treat, and the thicker Belgian varieties, but according to http://www.thenibble.com, there are also Liége waffles, which are said to be the original type made 600 years ago and "invented by the chef of the prince-bishop of Liége, Belgium." Liege waffles are "smaller and sweeter" than Belgian waffles. Other waffle types from thenibble.com include the malt waffle (made with malted milk powder), the Pizzelle (a thin Italian cookie), Stroopwafels (a sandwich cookie waffle with a filling) and of course toaster waffles, with one brand being Eggo.
Hungry yet? Here are some local places to go get your fill of waffles:
•Belgian Waffle & Steakhouse. Open daily 6 a.m.-5 p.m. 14700 Warwick Blvd. 757-874-3562. http://www.belgianwaffleandsteakhouse.com or on Facebook. "This family-oriented restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week with weekly specials."
•Angelo's Steak and Pancake House. Open daily 6 a.m.-10 p.m. 755 J. Clyde Morris Blvd. 757- 599-5727. http://goangelos.com. "Since 1983, Angelo's Steak and Pancake House has been serving locals and regulars over-sized portions for reasonable prices."
•Tommy's Restaurant. Open daily 6 a.m.-3 p.m. 3406 W. Mercury Blvd. 757-825-1644. Find them on Facebook. Locals know this is the place to go for home cooking at great prices.
•Wing Bistro Chicken and Waffles. Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. 2274 Executive Drive. 757-826-9464. http://www.wingbistro.net. "Wing Bistro chicken and waffles brings you youth and vitality without sacrificing the comfort and flavors that make the chicken & waffles rich and satisfying."
•Food Craft Restaurant. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. 5005 Victory Blvd. 757-234-6940. http://www.myfoodcraft.com/menu.php
•Astronomical Pancake and Waffle House. Open daily 7 a.m.-2 p.m. 5437 Richmond Road. 757-253-6565. Find them on Facebook.
•Capitol Pancake House. Open daily 6 a.m.-2 p.m. 802 Capitol Landing Road. 757-564-1238. http://www.pancakehouses.com. "Featuring over 24 types of pancakes & waffles."
•Southern Pancake and Waffle House. Open daily 7:30 p.m.-6 p.m. 1606 Richmond Road. 757-220-5542. http://southernpancake.com.
•Old Mill Pancakes and Waffles. Open daily 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 2005 Richmond Road. 757-229-3613. http://www.oldmillpancakes.com. "Serving Virginia country specials, pancakes and malted waffles...all priced for a family budget."