Våffeldagen (Waffle Day)

Swedish Waffles

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

There’s a holiday in Sweden that’s all about waffles.

Well, sort of. Swedes and their descendants can thank a long-ago miscommunication for Våffeldagen, the annual excuse to indulge in carb-loaded waffles topped with fruit and cream. Those particularly well-versed in the more orthodox Christian traditions may recognize tomorrow, March 25, as the Feast of the Annunciation — the date nine months prior to Christmas which symbolizes the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary to tell her she would give birth to Jesus [Corrected for accuracy, 3/24/11]. In Sweden, the day was instead known as Our Lady Day (Vårfrudagen), and it was widely observed in days gone by. However, since different dialects pronounced the name differently, the altered “Våfferdagen” was soon mistaken for “Våffeldagen” — and Waffle Day was born.

Waffle Day, to be fair, is a celebration nonetheless — a celebration of spring, and the increased supply of eggs and milk that comes with it. What better way to enjoy the change of the seasons? Today, the quintessential Swedish waffle is a heart-shaped treat*, topped with fresh strawberries or jam and whipped cream. We chose a cardamom-spiked recipe (below) to add to the Swedish flair, but your go-to buttermilk recipe will do just as well. Add macerated berries or jam and top with a dollop of vispgrädde (whipped cream), and you’re good to go!

Swedish Waffles

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

Cardamom Våfflor
From LearnSweden blog

3 eggs
¼ c sugar
⅔ c all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cardamom**
⅔ c sour cream
3 tbsp melted butter

Beat the eggs and sugar on high in an electric mixer until thick and pale. Add the flour and cardamom and mix well. Add the sour cream, then fold in the melted butter.

Brush a heated waffle iron with melted butter and pour in some batter. Cook the waffles until golden brown per your waffle iron manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the waffles with a fork, top with your choice of accompaniments, and enjoy!

*Heart-shaped waffle irons are available online or through Ingebretsen’s.
**If you’re motivated, your best bet here is to use whole white cardamom pods (available at Penzey’s) and grind them fresh with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder — you’ll obtain much more aromatic, flavorful waffles.

If you want to experience Waffle Day but would rather have someone make waffles for you, stop by the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis) on Saturday from noon to 4 — for $3, you’re entitled to a waffle and all the toppings!

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Maja Ingeman

The daughter of an artist and a music teacher, Maja spent much of her childhood traveling the country in a rusty old van, attempting to model all of her father’s salable jewelry at the same time, and sampling the many edibles available both on the road and at the art fairs they visited. Though she now lives in Minneapolis, the coffee addiction and love for food that she picked up en route to one of their many destinations never left her. Between marketing work in the medical device industry and poring over the Harvard Business Review, she can typically be found holed up in her kitchen, baking bread every weekend and experimenting in between.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for inspiring a workplace Våffeldag on Friday with loads of whipped cream and fruity toppings! (and delicious waffle hearts)

  2. I happened on to this article while searching for a stove top heart shaped waffle iron. Grew up with these and would like to buy my own. Please tell me where I might order one from. I live in Canada. Thank You

  3. Love the waffles, where can we get the Heart Shaped pattern mold?

    Appreciate your help!
    Cary

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