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Jaffle Craze (Read 2579 times)
Dec 26th, 2015 at 1:34pm

shackles   Offline
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1949 Jaffle craze hits Australia
Jaffle Brand jaffle ironThe jaffle iron seems to have been introduced to Australia in 1949 and was a coveted household item in the early 1950s. The original Jaffle brand jaffle iron seems to have been manufactured by the L. G. Hawkins company of the UK, who also made pressure cookers. Oddly, the toasted sandwich produced by this device has never been called a jaffle in the UK, although the term is also used in South Africa. In the UK, they’re toasties.

The history of the jaffle iron begins with wafer irons in medieval times. These were used to produce flat, unleavened cakes and consisted of two metal plates with wooden handles. The plates were connected by a hinge and the cakes were cooked over a fire, flipped to cook both sides. The Belgian waffle iron was a direct descendent of this device. The original jaffle iron was likely inspired by the waffle iron.

The origins of the jaffle name are obscure. “Jaffling” was a word used in East Anglia. It meant the same as the more common “jiffling”, which meant fidgeting or shuffling. But perhaps the jaffle name has nothing to do with that at all, and was simply a made-up brand name that sounded a bit like waffle.

Jaffle Ad largeWhen it was first advertised in 1949, the device was described as a “pressure toaster”, perhaps to trade off the idea of the pressure cooker. Its advantage was that the edges of the bread were pressed together to contain the hot filling. The jaffle iron was embraced with some fervour. There were even cookery demonstrations showing how to use it and the device cropped up frequently as a desirable prize at shows, social events and the odd charity “do”. Sadly, it could also become a weapon. An Illawara Daily Mercury headline in December 1953 screamed ‘Wife hit husband with “Jaffle Iron”; fined £3’.

Jaffles were touted as “the latest cookery creation for all the family to enjoy”. They were considered trendy enough for entertaining as well. In 1949, the Western Mail in Perth proclaimed:

Really useful for everyday cooking as well as parties is the Jaffle Iron which is very simple to use and produces a most appetising toast “pie.” All that you do is make a thick sandwich and, after clamping it shut in the iron, heat it over a flame. It may be used over any type of heat and we suggest that if you are having a barbecue it might be an idea to provide your guests with three or four bowls of appetising filling and let them make their own.

Lost Jaffle Border Watch 1950Before long, food manufacturers latched on to the craze. In 1950, grocers were advertising “Edgell Bologanaisse (sic) Mince Beef and Spaghetti – 1/11.  A New Line for the Jaffle Iron.” The irons were available in single and double models and were obviously treasured. A wistful note in Mount Gambier’s Border Watch in 1950 offers a reward for a lost one.

Similar devices were available in America, perhaps as early as the 1920s. In the USA they are called pie irons, pudgy pie irons or “tonka toasters”. An electric version was patented in 1924 by Charles Champion of Illinois. He also invented a machine for making popcorn.

An electric sandwich maker was produced in Belgium in the early 1970s. For a short time the Australian company, Breville, distributed these but problems with supply led to the company developing its own toasted sandwich maker. The Breville  Snack & Sandwich Maker became a huge success in Australia and in Britain, to the point where, in many places, a jaffle is actually called a “Breville”.

Can't Get Full On Fancy
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Reply #1 - Dec 26th, 2015 at 4:26pm

Chally   Offline
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Growing up I only knew of jaffles as being called a "jiffy".

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Reply #2 - Dec 27th, 2015 at 12:01pm

Saltbush Bill   Offline
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Very interesting Shackles Smiley
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Reply #3 - Dec 27th, 2015 at 10:28pm

Rufzgutz   Offline
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Jiffy  may have come from jaffling and jiffling as from above.

I have always known them as Jaffles.

Maybe Jeff, you might be thinking of something else when you was young  Cheesy Grin

A good read Brian  Smiley

Ps reading the above made me think of a potential you beaut filling  Smiley Smiley


image_901.jpg (27 KB | )

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Reply #4 - Dec 28th, 2015 at 10:44am

Derek   Offline
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I can remember them in some corner shops/take aways as a kid and they were always called jaffles.  Most had tinned steak and onions in them.

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