What does your waffle say about you?
Do you have it with chocolate, cheese or chicken? On Waffle Day, we look at national variations around the world
Today, 25 March, may be Waffle Day in Sweden and Norway, but we can safely assume plenty of cooks in other countries will be whipping up a little batter too.
Waffles may have originated in Western Europe, but they’re eaten more or less all over the world. Breakfast: The Cookbook lists the national peculiarities baked into this well-loved dish.
“Waffle-iron moulds can be novelty or traditional, like the shallow square honeycomb pattern of American waffles,” writes Emily Elyse Miller, “the floral motif of an Italian pizzelle, or the Chinese egg waffle emulating the shape of bubble wrap.”
Her book focuses on the version of the dish eaten widely in the United States, which is, as Miller explains, “spread liberally with butter and doused with maple syrup.”
However, that’s not the only way waffles are made in the US. “The American South has a sweet and savoury version with the addition of fried chicken,” she explains.
Magnus Nilsson came across similar variations when researching The Nordic Baking Book. “Waffles are served all over the Nordic region and each country has got a multitude of recipes,” he writes. “Some have eggs in them and others don’t. In Norway, waffles can also be found with brown cheese for breakfast. In the whole Nordic region, waffles are most commonly cooked in the classic Scandinavian waffle iron, which produces heart-shaped pieces.”
To make a Norwegian version, you can also add cardamom, Nilsson writes; while an Icelandic version is usually flavoured with vanilla, ground cinnamon, cardamom or grated lemon zest; and a version common in the Faroe Islands often includes vanilla sugar.
You can find all those recipes in The Nordic Baking Book, and the popular US version in Breakfast: The Cookbook.