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Waffle PNG Transparent Images

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Submitted by on Apr 14, 2020

Although waffles appear to be relatively contemporary food, they have been around the world for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks likely ate extremely flat cakes, called bleios. However, it would seem that the first evidence of the manufacture of waffle irons may have come from Holland or Germany in the 1300s. The construction of these waffle irons consisted of two hinged plates connected to two long wooden handles. It was not uncommon to find elaborate patterns, such as landscapes, religious symbols, or heraldic shields, imprinted upon the waffles by plates embossed with these symbols. Some plates had the honeycomb grid that we are using now. The waffle plates (or irons) were then baked over the fire in the hearth.

The waffles were baked between two hot metal plates. A method used continuously throughout the Middle Ages by the obloyeurs, people specializing in the manufacture of a variety of obleios, which were often flat or rolled in coronets (a form to horns).

In 1620, waffles made the journey from Holland to North America, courtesy of Dutch migrant pilgrims. Thomas Jefferson got a waffle iron after a trip to France, and voila! At the end of the 1700s, a new form of culinary entertainment appeared, in the form of waffle frolics or parties. Guests had a choice of waffles topped with candies such as maple syrup or molasses or with savories such as kidney stew.

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Thomas Jefferson depended on slaves to cook; soon, many members of the African American community were highly skilled in making waffles. The slave diet relied upon whatever food items were left behind by landowners and plantation families. Poultry was a rare delicacy for slaves. The waffles were considered just as exotic; they were unusual, expensive, and time-consuming. Because of these qualities, the chicken and waffles came to a special meal for the African American community; this hearty meal gave the slaves a supply of energy before attending religious services all day.

The first American waffle iron was patented on August 24, 1869, by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York. Before the electric models, the Swarthout waffle iron was heated by placing it on wood or gas stoves. A swivel hinge, in a cast iron collar, connected the two iron plates together.

These new electric waffle irons were standard kitchen appliances in the 1930s. Thomas J. Stackbeck was instrumental in the development of the first electric waffle iron. He was responsible for the design of the prototype heating elements used in the construction of a thermostat to avoid the problem of frequent overheating. With funding from General Electric, the first fully electric waffle iron was introduced to the nation on July 26, 1911.

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