Let me start out by reminding you that it’s Våffeldagen all day today. By now, you know my fondness for holidays. Any excuse for a holiday is fine for me. As you can likely figure out, Våffeldagen is not one of those ancient Roman holidays. Not even close. Våffeldagen is a spring commemoration in Sweden.
Half of my heritage is Swedish, so all things nordic appeal to me. Dad’s side of the family is made up of Johannsens and Andersons. There were at least a few Swedish customs celebrated by part of my family. One of them being Våffeldagen. One thing I like about the day is the name, Våffeldagen. The other thing I like even better is the food item that is the star of the day. Waffles. Yes, Våffeldagen translates into English as the waffle day.
I remember Våffeldag as a kid. The waffles were consumed as a supper dish. Mom prepared side dishes and toppings then mixed up a large bowl of batter. It was dad’s job to bake the waffles. The waffle iron was brought to the table, plugged in and allowed to heat. The family eagerly sat down to watch the baking of the waffles, in progress. The best behaved of us kids that day received the first waffle. Then, because the waffle iron was a fast baker, the rest of the family was soon served. The entire house smelled delicious with fresh baked waffles.
Toppings varied from butter and real maple syrup, to nut butters, to berries. Once, we were treated to lingonberries sent to us by Swedish family members from that country. It was wonderful to sample such a traditional delicacy on such a traditional Swedish holiday.
My paternal grandmother told us the origins of Våffeldagen. The name comes from the similarity of the word “Vårfrudagen” (translated as “Our Lady’s Day”, the Christian holiday of Annunciation) Vårfrudagen sounds very much like Våffeldagen. But waffle day has absolutely no religious nor cultural connection to “Our Lady’s Day” for our family.
Find your favorite waffle recipe, or mix, drag out the waffle iron and have at it. I just hope you don’t have to resort to frozen toaster waffles. If you’re like me, cashew butter is the topping of choice, but you can use almond butter or peanut butter, too. There’s nothing wrong with dairy butter and syrup for the traditionalists. Do try whipped cream and blueberries for a desert waffle. If you feel indulgent, lingonberries are especially nice, but expensive. Enjoy!