The ancestor of the waffle was nothing more than a rustic cake made of cereal's pulps prepared and cooked by the men of the Neolithic on heated stones. Once the face of the cake in contact with the stones was gilded, they turned it over to let the other face cook. Once somebody had the idea to replace the stone by an iron plate, the pancake was born. Then somebody found that the cooking would go quicker with 2 heated iron plates at both sides at the same time. This was the beginning of the waffle. It was a long time ago and the word "waffle" didn't exist yet.
The word "gaufre" (waffle in English) comes from the "walfre" in the twelve century. In old French, "wafel" meant at that time "piece of honey (bee-) hive". It was a bakery with light pasta cooked between two heated irons which printed a drawing in relief.
These cakes came through the centuries until the Middle Ages. We found these cakes back in the thirteenth century under the name of "oublies" or "Pan d'juif" (Jewish bread).
It was only in the thirteenth century that the waffles appeared when one black-smith imagined producing an iron which looked like the drawings of the alveoli made by the bees. The name of the bakery obtained, received the name of "waffle".
The waffles were sold to the people in the streets. For religious celebrations or saint's days the waffle vendors (after paying an honest remuneration to the clergy), were allowed to sell their waffles at the exits of the churches. Year after year they came more and more in large numbers. There were a lot of fights and troubles between vendors, and finally, King Charles IX (King of France between 1560 and 1574) decided to regulate this lucrative business. The vendors had to stay at 2 "toises" (+/- 6 ft.) from each other
In the sixteen century the waffles were not only a delicacy. They were eaten when there was a shortage of breads. The raw materials were mainly water and bad flour. By the eighteen century, the bad flour was replaced by mashed potatoes. These waffles for the common people were thick and on the contrary, the waffles for the upper middle class were thin and above all more delicate because eggs, milk, and honey were added.
Today in Belgium you can find waffles all the year long at bakeries and at stores. The waffles are inseparables from children and from parties. The waffles are one of the oldest desserts.
The Liège waffle (from the city of Liege, in eastern Belgium) is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. Invented by the chef of the prince-bishop of Liege in the 18th century as an adaptation of brioche bread dough. It features chunks of pearl sugar that caramelizes on the outside of the waffle when baked. It is the most common type of waffle available in Belgium and is prepared in plain, vanilla and cinnamon varieties by street vendors across the nation. (Wikipedia)