Over the years pancakes have been both necessary and very delicious. Necessity came from early times before forks and spoons when a pancake, of a sort, was necessary to get other foods “shoveled” into hungry mouths. Later, pancakes became ways to “bundle” food mixtures into desired shapes or a bland contrast for rich mixtures. Now, in the U.S. pancakes have evolved into being a treat, usually on leisure mornings when they are frequently laced with sweet toppings, even though they are the main dish.
Every culture needed its pancakes: Eventually each learned to grind grains into flour, and adding a little liquid made patties possible if singed on a hot surface or rock to make them retain shape. Virtually all nations have at least one dish which uses a pancake as useful surface for fillings or toppings:
- British Isles: Scottish Bannocks, English crumpets, oat cakes
- China: Egg rolls or spring roll.
- Egypt: Katief
- England: Yorkshire pudding is a baked pancake
- France: Crepes
- Italy: Cannelloni (filled crepes)
- Kosher: Matzos pancake, blintzes
- Latin America: Tortillas
- Newfoundland: Hotcakes
- Romania: Spinach pancakes
- Russia: Buckwheat blinis
- Southern India: Lentil patties
- Southern US: Cracklin’ bread
- Trinidad: Roti
- Wales: Crempop
- West Indies: Green corn cakes, or corn oyster fritters
The combinations are infinite, and one is restricted only by imagination. Select a basic pancake recipe or mix. Feel free to stretch your options, by separating batter into smaller bowls and vary what you add to each. Here’s some ways to vary your pancakes:
- Vary additions of liquids, maybe add juice or coffee.
- Add chopped nuts.
- Add berries or fruits.
- Puree and add meat.
- Add muesli or granola for crunch.
- Add novelty meals, such as corn, sorghum or quinoa.
- Add mushrooms.
- Add grated or crumbled cheese.
- Try adding liquors such as rum, sherry or pina colada mix.
- Add pieces of candy or candy bars.
- Experiment favorite pizza toppings.
When it comes to toppings, turn your imagination loose. This leaves you free to work with any of a number of syrups, fancy butters, chutneys, yogurts, grated cheese–you dream it up!
Here are foodsites with pancake recipes: