Waffles, as symbolized by the waffle iron in the magnificent painting, The Battle Between Carnival and Lent by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, were considered delicacies in medieval Europe. Invented circa 1377, the selling of these sweet cakes near churches was originally considered sacrilegous. Not until the 16th century did the Church allow vendors to sell waffles, and even then it was restricted to saints' days and other religious occasions. The competition between the vendors became so violent at times that King Charles IX of France had to impose a "Waffle Law" requiring vendors to maintain a distance of at least 12 feet from each other.
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