It is the beginning of February and we invite you and your family to have a heart – specifically a delicious one sitting on a plate in front of you. Specifically, of course, a Nordic Waffle.
Despite having written a number of blog posts about Nordic waffles I am always amazed at something new I learn. For instance, Visit Norway provides a Waffle Dictionary:
Vaffel – Waffle
Fredagsvaffel – Waffle served as a treat at many workplaces on Fridays.
Dugnadsvaffel – Dugnad is a Norwegian term for voluntary work done together with other people. It’s commonly used for outdoor spring cleaning, school maintenance, and sports arrangements for children. The free waffles at the end are the reward and highlight of the session.
Kakevaffel – A pile of waffles with layers of vanilla custard acting as a cake.
Pølse i vaffel – Hotdog wrapped in a waffle, served in the county of Østfold.
Matpakkevaffel – Packed lunch (“matpakke”) is a staple of the Norwegian life and traditionally consists of a simple sandwich – but some pimp it up with a waffle.
Bålvaffel – Waffle cooked over a campfire.
Visit Norway calls Nordic waffles symbol of kos and love – being the quintessence of “kos”, which is Norwegian for “having a good time.” According to the Norwegian seamen’s church Sjømannskirken, also known as the Norwegian church abroad, the heart-shapped waffle is a unique trademark for their church which sells 30,000 waffles every year. For Norwegians abroad, they are a symbol of homesickness and a heartening treat. Each church has its own special recipe, and you can find them all on Sjømannskirkens official website except they are only provided in Norwegian.
I also learned about Jonathan Larsson who was so captivated by Norwegian waffle tradition when he moved to Oslo he started selling them from his bedroom window. He served them with unique toppings such as blue cheese, sausage, and coconut. His window cafe became a hit, and his hobby became a full-time job when he started his waffle café Haralds vaffel. His personal favorite is waffles with butter, sour cream, and the classic Norwegian sweet brown cheese that melts perfectly on top.
One of the most interesting thing I discovered is a group called “Vaffelgutta” (The Waffle Guys) that started in Oslo but it is growing and is in now in the Norwegian cities of Bergen and Trondheim. Their mission statement is “We Save The World One Waffle At A Time.” Volunteers weekly hand out free home made waffles to homeless people on the streets. So far most every official website or story about them that I can find is in Norwegian. I plan to contact them and hopefully can get more information for a future post. Perhaps someone will start Vaffelgutta in Minneapolis? In the meantime you can see a video about their work here:
Hungry for Nordic waffles yet? First you need to get your Nordic waffle maker. Then you will need a recipe. Luckily we have cookbooks with recipes plus we have two recipes you can download.
If you want some Nordic waffles without making them yourself you can visit one of the places that serve Aasland’s Nordic Waffles including our favorite place Norway House Kaffebar.
A reminder that February is American Heart Month. Friday, February 7th is Go Red For Women Day to raise awareness of heart disease for women. You can find out more about taking care of your heart here.