“Credit for the creation of Belgian Waffles is attributed to a couple in Brussels, Belgium — Maurice Vermersch and his wife (sadly, unnamed in all the accounts.)
Just before World War II started, they had come up with a technique for waffles using yeast as the leavener, and greasing the pans with lard. He decided to sell them at the 1960 World’s Fair in Brussels. They did well. He then opened a few restaurants to sell his waffles.
Then, in 1964, he arranged to sell them from the Belgium Village (a recreation of a medieval Belgian village) at the World’s Fair held at Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York (actually, both in 1964 and in 1965 - the fair carried over two years.)
Realizing that most Americans didn’t know where Brussels was, within a few days of selling them, he decided to call them “Belgian Waffles”. Well, sort of — he actually called them “Bel-Gem” waffles.”
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