Belgian waffles aren’t actually made in Belgium. They are called that for their origin. They were introduced into the United States in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. They are on menus all around the country, including in Dodge County.

I order it not because I think I am getting an authentic, made in Belgium, waffle. I order it because it tastes good, it’s a break from oatmeal, and it satisfies my sweet tooth better than eggs and hash browns.

I’m OK with the fact that they are not actually from Belgium or made with Belgian ingredients. Some things don’t need to be 100 percent authentic to be OK.

Swedish meatballs and German potato salad are also made without one German potato or one bit of a Swedish cow.

It is part of living in an imperfect world. We get to call things what they are known for, not where they physically come from, and it’s OK. Well, it’s OK most of the time.

We don’t call just any old cigar a Cuban cigar. That has to come directly from Cuba, or at least the tobacco must be grown there.

We don’t get to call every sparkling wine champagne; that too must be from the Champagne wine region in France. These are not only about the quality, but also about the location they are grown.

So it is with Egyptian cotton. Egyptian cotton has been prized for its softness and durability. Sought after since the early 19th century, this silk-like fabric is used for products ranging from dress shirts to towels to sheets. Stores have been charging a premium for the label and people don’t mind paying the price.

Here’s the rub. Apparently, a prominent company that has been selling to Target, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond and other retailers has misrepresented the fiber content of products. This all occurred beginning as early as 2008, but it took until 2016 and some DNA testing to prove wrongdoing.

That did not settle well with the consumers and following the DNA test, a series of customer lawsuits along with these retailers suing the supplier created a plethora of dirty laundry.

The long fiber cotton grown in other parts of the world is almost indistinguishable from actual Egyptian cotton and yet there it is. Recalling less than 100 percent pure product and removing the “Gold Seal” was in order.

I like soft sheets as much as the next guy, but lawsuits and recalls of more than 750,000 sheets and pillow cases doesn’t seem prudent.

Was anyone in any danger or even in serious discomfort because of less than 100 percent Egyptian cotton? I know people who can tell the difference between 800-count and 1,800-count sheets and I admire them for their discerning tastes. At the same time, I doubt that any of them would sue over 10 percent Indian cotton added to their sheets.

When we buy the canned meat called Spam, we might want to know the exact content of said meat. With all the allergies threatening our population, it is important to know what contains peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, gluten, fish and artificial dyes because reactions can cause fatalities.

I have heard of no fatalities because there wasn’t enough Egyptian cotton in the Egyptian cotton sheets and towels. I understand how important it is to have truth in advertising. I don’t understand wasting 750,000 sheets and other items or the numerous lawsuits. Could a simple refund do the trick?

I am not challenging our right to get what we pay for. I also believe that the fraudulent supplier should be called to task. But blended sheets are common in the industry and there is a shortage of Egyptian cotton. Breaking trust in the global community is one thing, but making a king-size problem out of it is another.

It’s not as though someone put a pea under your 20 mattresses and 20 blankets. Royalty or not, we might have to concede that this is yet another first-world problem that might be best kept under the covers.

Kay Stellpflug is an educator and trainer in interpersonal and professional communications. She works and lives in Beaver Dam and can be reached at