Waffle History 101: Where Do Waffles Come From and So Much More!

Ever wonder why we have waffles? Welcome to the club of curious folk who ask — where do waffles come from?

Well…we asked our crew to drill into some of the more salient and sweet facts about the waffle — including common queries like, Who invented the waffle? What’s the big deal about chicken and waffles? What’s so special about Belgian waffles? And much more!

But first, here’s a quick summary of what we already know about waffles. 

Waffles are delightful golden and doughy treats with unique grid patterns that have been enjoyed for centuries around the world. 

With a rich history that spans continents and cultures, waffles have evolved from simple flat cakes cooked on stones (err pancakes?) to the delightful breakfast and dessert delicacies we savor today. 

Join us as we dive into the fascinating history of waffles and explore the intriguing tale of the famous chicken and waffles combination.

The Origins of Waffles

The history of waffles traces back to ancient times, with the earliest records dating to ancient Greece. 

Our sweet research shows they were first known as “obleios,” flat cakes cooked between two metal plates. 

These ancient waffles were quite different from the fluffy ones we enjoy today; they were often savory and used as a vessel for holding meats and other toppings.

Waffles eventually made their way to medieval Europe in the 13th century, where they became a popular treat during religious festivals. The term “waffle” itself is derived from the Dutch word “wafel,” which referred to the honeycomb pattern found on the cakes.

But that was then…and this is now.


The waffle as we know it today began to take shape in the 18th century when the waffle iron was developed in France. 

This invention allowed bakers to create waffles with distinctive grid patterns, making them more visually appealing and easier to cook evenly.

In the 19th century, waffles gained popularity in North America, particularly in the United States.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing waffle irons to America after returning from France, where he became enamored with these delectable treats. Waffles quickly became a beloved breakfast staple, often served with sweet toppings such as maple syrup (we know a guy), whipped cream, and fruit.

And we somehow even got weird with waffles by pairing them with fried chicken.

The Fusion: Chicken and Waffles History

The history of chicken and waffles is a fascinating tale of cultural fusion and culinary creativity. While the exact origins of this unlikely pairing remain somewhat elusive, it is believed to have emerged in the South during the late 19th century.

As the story goes, southerners enjoyed fried chicken as a special occasion meal, often served on Sundays after church services. Meanwhile, waffles had become a popular breakfast item in the region. One possible theory suggests that soul food restaurants, seeking to cater to both breakfast and dinner crowds, combined these two beloved dishes into one spectacular meal.

Chicken and waffles gained widespread attention in the 1930s when a Harlem-based restaurant called Wells Supper Club began serving it to jazz musicians and celebrities after their late-night performances. 

The dish’s unique combination of sweet and savory flavors, coupled with its association with late-night dining, contributed to its legendary status.

Chicken and waffles remain a trendy comfort food to this day, and are commonly featured on menus in various upscale restaurants across the United States.

But what else do we want to know about waffles? Here’s a quick Q&A we think you may find helpful. 

Sweet Waffle Facts

Q: What’s the difference between waffles and Belgian waffles?

A: Not much. Belgian waffles are fluffier because they are made with egg whites and yeast. 

Q: Are waffles healthy?

A: A single waffle with some fresh fruit? Sure. A big stack of waffles? Nope. Everything in moderation. 

Q: How many calories in a waffle?

A: Gulp. This is a tough one. Waffles come in all shapes and sizes, so to pinpoint calorie count would be a challenge. But, according to the USDA, there are about 82 calories in 1oz waffle. 

Q Is pancake mix the same as waffle mix?

A: Kind of. Waffle batter contains more sugar, butter, and eggs than pancake batter. Also, pancake batter contains more milk than waffle batter.

OK, so there you have it…the wonderful world of waffles.

The history of waffles takes us on a journey through time, from the ancient obleios to the modern, fluffy breakfast delights we enjoy today. Along the way, waffles have undergone numerous transformations, each contributing to their beloved status in culinary traditions worldwide.

Want to make your own waffles?

We’ve got a great recipe!

More stories like this

The Best Roasted Vegetables to Mix with Maple Syrup

Love maple syrup? Love roasted vegetables? Behold…some seriously delicious dishes featuring roasted vegetables with maple syrup.


3 Maple Syrup Cookie Recipes That Go Great with a Glass of Milk

Pour a tall glass of milk and enjoy any one of these maple syrup cookie recipes – from classic pecan, ginger, or a unique bacon twist.


Maple Syrup Pepsi! What Will They Think of Next?

Our crew did some digging on the latest culinary craze — Maple Syrup Pepsi.