On the 25th of March every year, Swedes dust off their waffle irons to indulge in newly baked waffles with jam and lightly whipped cream. The tradition actually stems from a misunderstanding. The original Christian celebration on that day, Lady Day, in Swedish "Vårfrudagen", became in the vernacular "Våffeldagen" which means Waffel Day.
Swedes started making waffles baked in square irons used directly the open fire already in the 17th century. The nowadays so characteristic rounded iron making heart shaped waffles came around in the 19th century.
The whole idea with waffles, in Sweden and anywhere else, is to get them crispy; this is really what differentiates them from pancakes. To do so one need a hot iron and good batter. The batter can be varied in infinite ways, but is usually based on flour, water, butter and cream or milk.
The jam is preferably made of either half and half of blueberries and raspberries (drottningsylt) or cloudberries. In Sweden, today being a truly multicultural society, people enjoy an array of different styles of waffles, including Norwegian waffles spiced with cardamom, waffles the American way with ice cream or syrup, or Belgian waffles with icing sugar.