There have been a number of different dishes over the centuries that are similar to the waffle. With two heated plates, the batter for the waffle is heated and it becomes a chewy dough. Many waffle makers today have a honeycomb pattern to them, but over the years religious symbols, landscapes, or even the family coat of arms would be crafted onto the iron plates. The first waffle irons came in the 14th century and are believed to have originated in Belgium or the Netherlands.
In the US, Cornelius Swarthout is given credit for the first patented waffle iron. His invention sat on top of the stove and would bake the waffle more than the griddle-style irons that we’re used to seeing today. It had two long wooden handles and two hinged iron plates and it swiveled on a cast-iron collar. August 24th is National Waffle Day to celebrate the patent award.
Swarthout isn’t credited with any other inventions, but there are some outstanding food inventions that cropped up over the years in the US. Here is a look at some of the best of the best.
1. Corn Dogs
Food on a stick is a marvelous thing. What is more American than a classic hot dog with mustard, ketchup, and relish? Covering that hot dog with corn bread and putting it on a stick. They started to appear as a type of fair food and from there migrated to the freezer section so they can be microwaved for lunch in a minute or less.
McDonald’s wins the award for creating a sandwich out of the most possible breakfast foods. The McGriddle is an egg and sausage sandwich with processed cheddar cheese that has pancakes in place of the bread. You can add bacon to this sandwich for the complete experience.
3. Reuben Sandwiches
If America is known for one thing about its food, it is that bigger tends to be better. The classic Reuben has stacks of corned beef and Swiss cheese that has been toasted just enough to start it melting. Add a tablespoon of 1000 Island dressing and sauerkraut on some rye bread and you’ve got yourself a meal that fits into the palm of your hand.
4. Double Down Sandwich
Who needs to have bread for a sandwich? KFC wins the award for the best meat sandwich that uses meat for bread. Take two fried pieces of chicken, put in cheese, bacon and sauce between them, and you’ve got lunch.
5. Deep Dish Pizza
The authentic deep dish pizza from Chicago is a masterpiece. It’s like eating a thick pie that is filled with rich sauce and numerous toppings. Known to cause heartburn in 4 out of every 5 eaters, you are an eating master if you can put down more than one slice at a time.
6. Fried Cheese Curds
What makes cheese better? Frying it, of course. Take globs of cheese, cover them in batter, and then fry them up. For an extra special treat, they’ll fry tens of thousands of cheese curds in Monroe, WI every other year to celebrate Cheese Days.
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