Waffle iron

dated 1606 Upper Rhine
Cast iron
diameter 15 cm, length 83 cm
Inv. 1901.19.

4740px x 2494px
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A thin pastry with images on both sides is formed by the two plates of this waffle iron, constructed like a pair of tongs. Slightly sweetened dough in a creamy consistency is poured on to the heated plates with their recessed designs and heated briefly until it forms a flat cake. Often one plate has a honeycomb grid of grooves ('waffles'), enabling the steam from the viscous mass to escape easily. Such 'iron cakes' were distributed by families and monasteries on feast days. Numerous waffle irons in the collection of the Historisches Museum come from the Alsace region. This example shows on its left plate the Annunciation to the Virgin, in an image like that on the Basle Julius banner, and the Basle crosier; St Catherine of Alexandria and her instrument of martyrdom, the wheel, appear on the other plate. The waffle iron was owned by the family of Jakobus and Catharina Enderlin Keifler from the Alsatian village of Sierentz (between Mulhouse and Basle).

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