18th Century 'Waffle Frolics' Featured A Delightfully Absurd Ritual

If you thought Leslie Knope was the only character that has an overwhelming love for waffles, then you clearly haven't studied the height of colonial parties. Waffles had become so popular in the new world that colonists were hosting waffle parties according to Atlas Obscura. By 1744, such a party was known as a "wafel-frolic," (via My Recipes). These waffle-laden parties were so extravagant that one attendee called it a "luxurious feast" with the crowning dish, waffles, being the primary focus of the entire event.

According to My Recipes, waffle frolics were a thriving, popular event to hold and attend from the 18th century all the way until the 1960s when the beloved tradition began to fade away. But until the waffle frolic's demise, the sometimes highly themed parties were not a social event to miss. And though the waffle may have been a far flip from today's crispy, buttery stacks, even 18th-century frolic-ers knew how to decadently top their favorite yeasted dish.

This is what a waffle frolic entailed

If you're wondering just how early Americans threw a raging waffle frolic, there was, fortunately, a magazine that detailed just how it was done — and what toppings to set out for guests (via Babel). From waffle-shaped invitations to the proceedings, the editor outlined everything hosts (and present-day waffle fanatics) needed to know. 

Those holding waffle frolics put their guests to work in the kitchen. When guests arrived, they were greeted with a numbered cooking instrument, such as a sieve or an egg beater, and would join an assembly line. Once the waffles started turning out of the irons and began stacking up, the first group of guests would get to take a seat in the dining room to dig into the freshly-made delicacy. Kitchen doors were propped open to keep the cooks looped into the party, and everyone eventually changed places to take their turn in the dining room. 

Toppings included powdered sugar, whipped cream, and of course, maple syrup. But according to the magazine entry, the syrup was no ordinary kind. Waffle frolic maple syrup was "boiled down and beaten" to create an extra thick, deliciously sweet topping.  

Clearly, Leslie Knope and other waffle-mad breakfast lovers need to take a tip from such a party and bring the trend back.