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How Did Waffles Inspire Nike’s First Pair Of Sneakers?

National Waffle Day on August 24th commemorates the anniversary of the first waffle iron patent issued. Celebrate by savoring your favorite kind of waffle!

  • The birth of the waffle dates back to the Middle Ages, when they were cooked over a fire using two metal plates with wooden handles. The plates back then often had the grid pattern we know today, but some waffles had fancier designs, like a coat of arms.
  • Waffle irons and waffles originated around the 14th century. An anonymous husband penned the first known waffle recipe as a set of instructions for his wife.
  • According to the manuscript, Le Ménagier de Paris, each of the four recipes began:
    • Beat some eggs in a bowl, season with salt, and add wine.
    • Toss in some flour, and mix.
    • Then fill, little by little, two irons at a time with as much of the paste as a slice of cheese is large.
    • Then close the iron and cook both sides.
    • If the dough does not detach easily from the iron, coat it first with a piece of cloth that has been soaked in oil or grease. 
  • 1620 – Pilgrims bring waffles from Holland to “New Amsterdam”
  • 1725 – The term waffle appears in print in the Court Cookery book.
  • In 1789, Thomas Jefferson returned to the US from France with many French recipes. In addition, he came back with a long-handled waffle iron that encloses the batter and gives the waffle crispness and shape.
  • On August 24, 1869, Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York, received his patent for the waffle iron. While waffles existed long before then, the invention made waffles more readily available.
  • 1911 – The first electric waffle iron was introduced by General Electric.
  • 1953 – Frank Dorsa’s Eggo Frozen Waffles are sold in Supermarkets for the first time.
  • On Labor Day 1955, Joe Rogers and Tom Forkner’s dream became a reality when the first Waffle House restaurant opened its doors for business.
  • 1962 – Belgian Waffles debut at New York’s World’s Fair.
  • Belgian Waffles were invented around 1839, these yeast-leavened batter waffles didn’t make it to the US until the 1964 World’s Fair when they were introduced as Bel-Gem Waffles!
  • Although we have proof that waffles may have gotten their start in France or even ancient China, the word “waffle” is descended from the Dutch word for “wafer”. The first use of the actual word “waffle” in the English language was in 1725.
  • Waffles inspired Nike’s first pair of sneakers.  Bill Bowerman was watching his wife use their waffle iron one morning in 1971 when he was suddenly struck by the honeycomb shape of the waffle. He realized it would be the perfect shape for the sole of an athletic sneaker. Then, Bowerman actually used a waffle iron to create the first Nike sneaker sole.
  • The Waffle House sells 145 waffles a minute.
  • The founders of Eggo Waffles were original mayonnaise moguls.
  • When Eggo frozen waffles were originally introduced in 1953, they had a different name. Before being named simply after the company in 1955, Eggo called their waffles Froffles. It’s a combination of “frozen” and “waffles”
  • Waffles were preceded, in the early Middle Ages, around the period of the 9th–10th centuries, with the emergence of oublies (wafer cooking irons).
  • The oublie became the waffle in the 1400s when a craftsman had the idea of forging some cooking plates or “irons” that reproduce the characteristic pattern of honeycombs.
  • Waffle is also a slang term meaning “to keep changing one’s mind.”.
  • Pancakes outnumber the waffles five to one.
  • Following along with the vibe of the jazz era, chicken and waffles may have originated at the Wells Supper Club in Harlem, New York, in the 1930s.
  • Belgian, American, Brussels, Liège, Flemish, Bergische, Hong Kong, Pandan, Scandinavian, Gofri, Galettes, and Stroopwafels are some of the most popular varieties of waffles.


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