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National Waffle Day is Aug. 24, so try something with a crisp Phillip Brents | Fri, Aug 22 2014 03:14 PM

In the United States, National Waffle Day is celebrated on Aug. 24, the date of a U.S. patent on a waffle iron in 1869.

The original recipe for waffles is said to have originated 600 years ago in the Belgian city of Liege. Waffles are also said to have come to colonial America in the 17th century with the arrival of the Dutch in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that stove-tops became more common and stove-top waffle irons became available. General Electric developed a prototype for the first electric waffle iron in 1911.

It’s still possible to buy electric waffle irons to cook the traditional mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, milk and butter.

However, toaster waffles are now common in this country and frozen waffles are sold en masse in supermarkets.

Waffles come in many varieties, including Italian pizelle cookies and stroopwafels, a thin sandwich cookie waffle with a caramel-like syrup filling that us popular in the Netherlands as a dessert treat.

Belgian waffles are larger than the typical American toaster-size offering but, perhaps not too surprisingly, do not exist in Belgium. They were originally showcased in 1958 at the Expo 58 in Brussels and made their North American debut at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle in 1962. Belgian waffles, which have deeper pockets and a larger grid pattern, were further popularized at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, and have since become a North American staple — the gourmet take on the standard American waffle.

Toppings vary from whipped cream, confectioners sugar, soft fruit, and chocolate spread, to syrup and butter or margarine. They are often served with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit, especially strawberries, as a dessert.

Belgian waffles are traditionally served with whipped cream and strawberries.

Just how many types of waffles are there? Well, about as many as can be imagined, including frozen waffles with blueberries baked into the crust.

While European waffles tend toward desserts and street snacks, Bruxie’s Southern California restaurants are giving waffles a decidedly new makeover with the gourmet waffle sandwich.

Bruxie’s SDSU location (5157 College Ave.) is celebrating National Waffle Day with a new, one-day-only barbecue pork belly “banh mi” sandwich. (Take note South County's numerous SDSU students looking for something new.)

The sandwich is made with layers of roasted pork belly, a generous drizzle of spiced cola barbecue sauce, pickled vegetables and fresh cilantro — all enveloped in an airy, crisp waffle shell.

The pork belly waffle sandwich ($11.95) will be available at all Bruxie locations starting at 10 a.m. until they sell out. For traditionalists, other signature items will remain available.

Now, just what is a waffle sandwich?

Bruxie co-founders Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney use a creative version of a Belgian waffle as the “bread.” The waffle is light and not sweet, and is reminiscent of freshly baked bread.

Bruxie waffles are paired with quality seasonal ingredients, offering both savory choices like buttermilk fried chicken, prosciutto and gruyere, and hot pastrami, as well as a variety of sweet options such as crème brulee, Nutella and banana and s’mores.

Each location also features a variety of daily specials, such as the Carolina barbecue pulled pork, braised beef short rib and Philly cheesesteak.

Besides its unique waffle sandwich, Bruxie also offers a selection of fresh salads, locally produced old-fashioned cane sugar sodas, Wisconsin frozen custard, shakes, sundaes and floats. Bruxie also serves its own locally roasted custom crafted coffee made from a proprietary blend of 100 percent fair-trade imported beans.

Waffle sandwiches are a great touch either for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.

For more information, call (619) 272-4203 or visit the website at http://bruxie.com.

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