Waffles have been a part of Belgium culinary for ages which are now found and enjoyed all around the world. With time new recipes, topping and tastes have evolved the traditional Belgium waffles but the basic method behind the waffle making remains same.
Birth of waffles
This century old dish has gone through many changes and so has its cooking tools.
• In ancient times waffles were made by heating the waffle batter directly on flames or in a furnace similar to the cakes. This was during Neolithic and Iron age, when iron use was not so pronounced.
• As time progressed, human technology evolved, the iron came into existences and was later used in making the traditional waffle irons. These traditional waffle maker irons were stovetop type, that is, they used stove flames to heat and prepare the waffle batter inside them.
• They mainly gained popularity between 13th and 16th centuries.
• The seducing taste that these waffle irons imparted made the fame of waffles grow exponentially. With time, along the migrants from Europe, the waffles passed on to the world which now exists as an iconic snack which can be eaten any time of the day.
Even though electric mode waffle makers are now used but the traditional thin Belgian waffle, made like olden times can be found in many parts of the world.
• The traditional maker is made up of two iron plates, hinged together to form book like structure. Each plate has a wooden handle at the end.
• The batter is poured in the grid spaces between the plates and the hot plates close tightly together.
• The waffle thickness depended on the shallowness of the grids on the plates.
• The final step involves the waffle iron being heated in a hearth furnace to heat the batter evenly to produce a perfect waffle.
• Later on, as the furnace became impracticable, waffle vendors, during the mid-16th century, used stove flames to heat the waffle iron.
Start of a new beginning
With the gift of electricity, the older stove-style cooking started becoming obsolete. In the year 1911, the general electric company in the United States released it’s first designed waffle maker that used electric energy, unlike the traditional stovetop waffle makers. The profits earned due to commercial production of these makers sky-rocketed.
New era with new design
• In today’s date traditional waffle maker stovetop irons are still available but are preferred by very few as its time consuming and also pose difficulty in preparation.
• The new waffle makers that are now available in the market are based on the same principle design as the first one, but now also have many new additional features.
• The material that is now being used for the new design is light, durable and easy to clean. The greatest advantage is the Teflon material that is now being used, which increases the life of the waffle maker and also helps with the cleaning.
• Another feature that essential to all waffle makers is the safety feature.
Traditional stovetop waffles irons used to get hot and so, posed a risk of burning. Even now the electric design can pose shock risk. Therefore it was found necessary to add safety features like thermostat and overload trip feature in order to make them safe to be used by anyone.