7 tasty waffle facts for National Waffle Day

Here's some history behind these breakfast hot cakes

By Gabriella Nuñez - Multimedia Producer
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. - National Waffle Day is an annual celebration dedicated to the honeycomb-patterned delicacy that has graced breakfast plates for decades.

The date, not to be confused with Waffle Day on March 25, commemorates the first U.S. patent for a waffle iron. It was on Aug. 24, 1869, that Cornelius Swartwout was granted credit for changing the breakfast game in the states forever.

Here are seven ways waffles changed the world.

Founding Father introduced more than just freedom

The waffle is not just a U.S. delicacy. It was birthed abroad and brought to the states by one of our Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson brought many novelties back from his 1789 Europe trip, including four waffle irons from Amsterdam. A common misconception is that Jefferson brought the waffle irons from France, but shipping records and collected recipes prove otherwise. It's been a popular suggestion to celebrate the Declaration of Independence with a waffle -- or you can celebrate America's freedom this National Waffle Day.

A large breakfast wafer 

To corroborate historians' findings regarding Thomas Jefferson's relationship with the waffle, note the origin of the word. Waffle comes from the Dutch word meaning "wafer."

You may have heard of Belgium waffles, and Thomas Jefferson's cook was Belgian. Coincidence? Well, waffle also stems from the Old German word "wefan" which meant to weave something into the shape of a honeycomb. There's no concrete proof, but Jefferson's cook probably had something to do with the way we view waffles now.

Associated Press

From the griddle to the sole

A fun fact for any sneaker head: Nike's first pair of running shoes were inspired by waffles.

Legend has it co-founder Bill Bowerman was having breakfast when he realized the grooves in a waffle iron would make for a good mold for a running shoe. He had been searching for a way to make shoes lighter and faster, and found inspiration in the iconic honeycomb pattern.

The rubber mold was seen in Nike's first shoe, the Waffle Trainer. The waffle iron-like pattern debuted on the soles in 1974.

Associated Press

Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman designed the shoe's sole using his wife's waffle iron. The shoes were made for runners at the 1972 Olympic trials. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

Leggo my Eggo

Eggo took waffles beyond the iron. The company introduced frozen waffles in 1953, bringing the breakfast food to freezers all across the U.S.

The frozen waffles were originally dubbed "Froffles" but were renamed as customers started calling them Eggos because of the egg flavor that seemed to stick out to consumers. The famed "L'eggo My Eggo" slogan became embedded in America's memory in 1972, after Kellogg bought the brand.

Eggo's founders were originally mayonnaise moguls but didn't look back once they introduced the convenience of frozen waffles to breakfast-lovers everywhere. 

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Ice cream tastes better in a cone

A shortage of cups at the 1904 St. Louis World Fair inspired the yummy waffle cone.

A Missouri ice cream vendor ran out of cups and needed his quick-thinking to make a profit. He asked a nearby waffle vendor to help, and that vendor's problem-solving logic made ice cream more delicious. He folded his waffles and used them to make the first-ever ice cream cones.

A waffle of a record

Waffle House sells millions of waffles a year, with the restaurant declaring itself as the major waffle chain in the country.

The Southern chain has been around for decades and has sold nearly 900 million waffles and counting. Waffle House broke it down and determined it sells 145 waffles a minute. It could be because the waffle is the most popular item on its menu and one of the most affordable breakfasts it offers.

WSMV via CNN

"Do You Like Waffles," a tune

It was the "Baby Shark" of its time.

In 2008, Parry Gripp released a song dedicated to popular breakfast foods, but it was originally inspired by the king of all breakfast foods: the waffle.

"Do You Like Waffles" pays homage to waffles, pancakes and French toast. When asked why he wrote the song, Parry Gripp simply replied it was because he likes waffles. The music video features a waffle dressed in a top hat and bow tie dancing along to the pop-rock song. You can watch him do his jig by clicking this link

If you have any other syrup-worthy waffle facts, feel free to drop them in the comments or tell us which waffle fact was your favorite.

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