Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Crystal Beach Amusement Park hosted fairgoers from both the Canadian and American sides of the border from 1888 through 1989. Though the park has closed its doors, local love for some of its signature concessions has endured, especially for the sugar waffle.
The waffle is the creation of George C. Hall, who ran a successful concessions business at the Fort Erie, Ontario, park in the early 20th century. To fashion the whimsical fried flowers, Hall dipped a heated, daisy-shaped iron in batter, then returned the dough-coated metal to a sizzling vat of oil to finish cooking. He then dusted the treat with a handful of powdered sugar. By selling his “sugar waffles” at Crystal Beach, Hall established an association between the treat and the park for generations.
Crystal Beach shuttered in 1989, but locals’ nostalgia for afternoons spent at the long-gone park could be satisfied by the taste of a sugar waffle or a sip of loganberry drink, another beloved concession. Years later, a manager who worked at Crystal Beach whipped up a batch at his restaurant in the town of Ridgeway, Ontario. It was such a success that he shut down the restaurant, opened Crystal Beach Candy Co. in 1993, and distributes sweets across the area to this day. The waffles are still made the old-fashioned way: 20 at a time using five molds and the same recipe from Crystal Beach Amusement Park.
Where to Try It
Sobeys Fort Erie450 Garrison Rd, Fort Erie, Ontario, L2A 1N2, Canada
This grocery store stocks sugar waffles and other Crystal Beach Candy Company products.