March 25 is International Waffle Day; not to be confused with National Waffle Day (August 24) or National Waffle Iron Day (June 29). While we don't understand the need for three distinct waffle days – domestic, international, gadget-oriented or otherwise – we'll find any excuse to eat ourselves into waffle oblivion.
International Waffle Day (the official day to waffle on decisions and, of course, indulge in griddle-ironed goodness) originated in Sweden. Known as Våffeldagen, the holiday coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation and the start of Spring in Sweden and Europe. Swedish families commemorate the two occasions by what else? Making waffles.
While this seems like an elaborate hoax just to eat waffles, we don't need such syrupy excuses. Just head to Hollywood's The Waffle for an Applewood smoked bacon, cornmeal jalapeno or sticky buns waffle. For a fruit-forward option, check out The Griddle Cafe's strawberries & cream waffle, covered with strawberries and the cafe's own brown sugar sour cream. Or you can always go old-school (and big time) at Roscoe's House of Chicken 'N Waffles with a half-chicken and two waffles, prepared Southern style with a proprietary mix. Not a waffle lover? Try the fried chicken salad at West LA's The Six, served with waffle croutons and buttermilk dressing.
Last but certainly not least, we can't forget the purist's pièce de résistance: the Belgian waffle. Make it on your own waffle iron with this Williams-Sonoma recipe. We just hope the Swedes don't get mad.
Buttermilk Belgian Waffles
From: Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast & Brunch
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon canola or corn oil
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and vanilla until blended. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk just until blended. There will be some small lumps.
To cook the waffles, preheat a Belgian waffle iron for 5 minutes, then brush with some of the oil. Following the manufacturer's directions, ladle enough batter for one waffle into the center of the waffle iron (usually about 1/2 cup), and spread with a small spatula to fill the holes. Close the waffle iron and cook until the steam stops escaping from the sides and the top opens easily, or according to the manufacturer's directions (usually about 4-5 minutes). The timing will depend on the specific waffle iron used. The waffle should be browned and crisp. Transfer the waffle to a warmed waffle platter and repeat with the remaining oil and batter.
Serve the waffles at once with the syrup.
The Waffle: 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood; (323) 465-6901.
The Griddle Cafe: 7916 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood; (323) 874-0377.
Roscoe's House of Chicken 'N Waffles: 1514 North Gower Street, Hollywood; (323) 466-7453.
The Six: 10668 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles; (310) 827-6662.
Christie Bishop can also be found food blogging at PardonMyCrumbs.com.