- Waffles (gaufres, wafels) date from ancient Greece, where bakers cooked very flat cakes (obleois) between two hot metal plates.In the 13th century, plates cut in the characteristic honeycomb pattern emerged in Europe, which were called gauffres (waffles) in France. The "waffle" (from Dutch wafel ) first appeared in English print in 1735, by which time waffles were popular in the Netherlands and Flanders. Street vendors in Belgium began selling hot waffles in the 19th century.By then a staple throughout the country, the Belgian variant acquired worldwide repute notably through the efforts of Maurice Vermersch, who began to make the confection before World War II using a recipe of his wife's. After the war, he opened two restaurants in Belgium and began serving waffles at the World's Fair of 1958. Business boomed in Brussels, and Vermersch together with several partners introduced them in the United States at the New York World's Fair of 1964. Known until then as the Brussels waffle, the name was henceforth changed to the Belgian waffle. Their fame has endured and they are a culinary centerpiece of tourism in Brussels.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.