There is nothing so yummy like a stack of homemade pancakes, prepared exactly how you like them. Pancakes as we know them today were already eaten long ago, dating back even to Ancient Roman times. This simple but at the same time so delightful food is known almost in every country all over the world.
In Roman times, the basic pancake batter was made from milk, flour and eggs and spices. These pancakes were called “Alita Dolcia” what in Latin means Another Sweet. The sweet version of Roman pancakes were served with honey and fruits and the savory version with meat and cheese.
Also, blini or crepes are two another names of pancakes which are known to be one of the most popular and tasty Russian dishes. The history of their origin is very mysterious, but it’s clear – this dish didn’t arrive to us in the last century.
One of the possible explanations for their origin is that, in old times, before IX century, a peasant forgot about the pan with kissel, which he was cooking. The kissel fried, became brown and could be seen as a first version of the pancake. Before Christening of Russia, pancakes had a role of sacrificial bread.
Every family had its own recipe of crepes, which were handed from generation to generation, from mothers to daughters. Seven weeks before Easter it was a tradition to eat pancakes during one week. It was a specific ‘good bye winter’ sign, which was accompanied by dancing, laugh and good mood. In this week all people could buy pancakes in every corner. And not just simple version of them, but filled with delicious things, such as: quark, meat, eggs, marmalade, sweet milk and even caviar. This tradition still exists in Russia, but went through some changes with time.
And, did you actually know that according to traditions you have to eat pancakes only by hands, without using fork or knife? Yes, it is so. In the past, if somebody was seen eating pancakes, using food instruments, he was beaten with rods.
Nowadays we can find crepes or their interpretations almost in every country. Of course, sometimes they can have completely different taste of the original dish. For example we can remember American pancakes. They are very different from the European version of the dish. They have a smaller and thicker form and mostly used as a sweet breakfast dish or desert. In Germany, we are used to eat crepes with chocolate butter and bananas inside. In China, people add onions in the dough, which make them taste more like an addition to the salty food. Every country tries to create something own, by adding new ingredients to the original recipe.
Nevertheless, if you want to come back to the roots and try to make the original dish, this advice might be very useful. You don’t need many ingredients to make very tasty pancakes, all what you need are milk (500 ml), eggs (2), oil (2 tablespoons), sugar (1 tablespoon), flower (200 gram), slaked soda (1 tablespoon), salt.
First of all, you have to mix together sugar, salt and eggs. Then, add a little bit oil, because it will help pancakes not to stick to the pan. As following, the dough should be mixed with milk, slaked soda and flower. You can use an electric mixer to make the dough more homogeneous. Your dough is ready!
Now you can make the pan warm and start to fry your own crepes. Don’t forget to put a little bit oil in the pan! It will make your frying process much easier. You also can put anything you find in your fridge to fill ready pancakes.
From now you can tell everyone that you are a master of original pancakes and enjoy your own cooking experience together with your friends.
In general pancakes are thin and light. Many people people eat them only with sugar and lemon. But other tasty toppings are fruit and chocolate. Some people prefer the savory option and eat their pancake with cheese and ham for example.
Depending on the country, regions and traditions, there are many different version of the simple pancake. The type and the amount of the ingredients and some added flavours give each pancake its special taste and look.
Every year thousands of people try out new and old recipes to eat one of the simplest meals. And there are many different recipes for every taste. Hot or cold, savory or sweet, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or a snack inbetween or a kid's party, they seem to fit every occasion and can be adjusted to everyone's taste. But it's not only the filling or topping that counts: the presentation makes a pancake even look delicious: flat, rolled or folded, with whipped cream for garnish, chocolate or a savory sauce drizzled on top...there is something for everyone.
Here is an overview of the classic versions in the UK, Republic of Ireland and North America.
English pancakes have three key ingredients: flour, eggs and milk. They are similar to the French crępes and Italian crespell. They may be eaten as a sweet dessert with the traditional topping of lemon juice and sugar, drizzled with golden syrup or wrapped around savory stuffings and eaten as a main course.
Scottish pancakes, also known as drop scones or Griddle Pancakes, are made from self-raising flour, eggs, sugar and milk.
Irish pancakes are sometimes also made with buttermilk.
Welsh recipes may contain sugar, cream of tartar, and even a bit of vinegar, but are cooked thin as the English variety.
North American pancakes are usually much thicker and are served with maple syrup.
Pancakes are also associated with many traditions and customs. Christians, for example enjoy eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, also called „Pancake Day“. Historically, pancakes were made on Shrove Tuesday so that the last of the fatty and rich foods could be used up before Lent. Snce 1950 there are popular traditions and customs like Pancake day races and rope skipping in the towns of Olney, England and Liberal, Kansas, USA. Only local women compete in these International races, racing along an agreed course. Their times are compared to determine the international winner. In Olney the main women's race is now also supported by races for local school children and men.
A crępe is quite similar to the English pancake, however, they are little thinner, in fact a perfect crępe is wafer-thin. A crępe consists of more milk and less flour in order to make the realy liquid batter, which is easily spread and then flipped in a frying pan. When cooked, it gets folded twice. The infamous Crępe Suzette is drizzled with a dash of Grand Marnier and gets falmbéed. The savory version in France is called Galette and is filled with scrambled eggs, ham and grated cheese. It is mostly associated with the regions of Normandy and Brittany and often cooked on one side only.
Even in Italy one speaks of a Crępe rather than a crespella, usually referring to the sweet version of the French Crępe (Crępe Franchese), topped with Nutella, jam, mascarpone, zabaglione or white chocolate. Where a crespella is found on a menu it is usually the savory version that is referred to. Popular fillings are ham, mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, asparagus, spinach or ricotta. The filling is placed in on one side of the crespella and then rolled up. The rolled crespelle are then placed in a baking tray, and are covered in sauce (bechamel sauce for example) and then baked or just heated through for about 20 minutes. The consistency of an Italian crespella is quite similiar to the French crępe and is usually served as a first course.
They are prepared with yeast and wheat flour. As a topping butter or sour cream are preferred, but also fillings with fish are quite popular for the savory version. Also caviar is a favoured ingredient in the Blini and a simple pancake can become a very elegant appetizer or starter.
The Pooda can be made either sweet or savory and are of different thicknesses in different places in India. In general they are similar to their European counterparts. The Dosa and Uttapam are prepared by fermenting rice batter and split skinned urad bean (black lentil) blended with water. It is a sweet pancake which can be eaten with pickles and chutney.
It is made with a filling, traditionally ground peanut with sugar, butter and additional condiments such as sweetened coconut or egg. There are other variations, such as those made with soya bean milk replacing egg and water. The Malay version also has sweet corn and condensed milk as filling.
Pfanne translates to pan in English, Kuchen simply means cake. In some regions (Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxonia) pancakes are called Eierkuchen. A Berliner Pfannkuchen is not a pancake; it is a doughnut.
These are a Dutch pancake-type dish. They resemble American pancakes as they are quite thick but are sweeter and much smaller. The technique used also varies; they are flipped repeatedly before a side is completely done, in order to attain a softer interior.
These type of pancakes can be found on a menu in Western-oriented backpackers' cafes in Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, India, and China.
Our yummylicious Pancake Recipes will make everyone to lick his/her lips from the unspeakable pleasure of taste. Just go ahead and choose the recipe which suits to your taste preference!