The history of the pancake traces back hundreds of years. That delicious breakfast you enjoy now was also enjoyed by people in medieval times. There are countless variations on the pancake that range from crepes, to Dutch, and flapjacks. Many of these depend on the region the pancake is being made, the history of that culture, and the ingredients available to them.
The first official pancake recipe dates back to the sixteenth century. The recipe was by a Dutch cook. It was accompanied with numerous illustrations and instructions. Throughout the Medieval Age pancakes evolved into the closest resemblance of pancakes today. People started making them with cornmeal, flour, or even potatoes depending on what they had available to them. Many would also have an added fruit or other sweet ingredient for flavor.
The pancakes of history were cooked using a baking stone. This is where the stone used to cook them is heated by a fire or stove and the batter is then cooked on the hot stone.
Pancakes were also associated with the Christian Lent. It was a way for people to use up their eggs, fats, and other ingredients that they weren’t permitted to eat during the time of Lent.
Pancakes eventually made their way to America. There are some indications that Native Americans had their own version of the pancake. They used similar, but alternate ingredients. But all these varieties have morphed into the pancakes we know today. The most popular version is made from flour, eggs, buttermilk, and baking powder.
Throughout the world different cultures have their own version of the pancake. In France it’s known as a crepe. In Scotland they make a version that is very similar to the flapjack. Australians will often eat them for dessert instead of breakfast. Germans will cut them into strips and eat them alongside soup. Swedish are known for frying or baking their pancakes and topping them with fruit and whipped crème.
The history of pancakes is a wide ranging one. Dating back to medieval times and spanning all over the globe. From its most basic recipe the pancake is very simple. Flour, baking powder, eggs, and buttermilk are about as simple as a recipe gets. The great part about pancakes is that it’s easy to change the recipe to fit the taste of anyone. Who knows how much more the pancake can change in the future. Everyday someone is coming up with a new combination of ingredients.