Historical evidence dates the earliest pancake to go as far back as 5th century BC in Greek culture. Tagenites as they were called, are made of wheat flour, olive oil, honey and curdled milk. Since then, the world has seen a large variety of pancakes spanning many different cultures, for example French crepes have seen worldwide popularity. In the Netherlands, pancakes are made to be slightly thicker than crepes but are much larger at around 12″. These pancakes are called “pannenkoeken”, typically eaten at dinnertime and the fillings include cheese, ham, apple slices, or even bacon as well as many other ingredients. Popular ingredients for Asian pancakes are bananas but may also feature coconut in the Pacific regions.
And then there’s the North American version of pancakes made of flour, eggs, milk or buttermilk and a rising agent such as baking powder and as a result, these pancakes tend to be thicker than their European counterparts and much fluffier. A little known fact of pancakes is during the early years of the United States, prospectors and pioneers favored pancakes made out of sourdough due to the longevity of sourdough.
Livening up your pancake recipe can be done in many different ways but the first step is to discover your preferred method of cooking pancakes. For example you may your pancakes well cooked underneath and around the edges so they have a little bit of a crunch but are fluffy on top and in the middle. In addition to figuring out how you like them to be cooked, there are also many ingredients you can add to the pancakes ranging from sugars and spices to fruit and veggies or even meat. If you’re in the mood for sweet pancakes, you can add sugar, syrups, jams/jellies, apples or bananas, chocolate, nutmeg or cinnamon. If you want heartier pancakes, do what many European restaurants do and add some meat like ham, bacon or maybe even sausage. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, Polish pancakes are sometimes served with fried veggies, fried chicken, minced meat or even potatoes and cabbage.
In short, pancakes can be prepared in a multitude of different ways and experimenting with your pancake recipe from time to time can yield some very surprising results. Who knows, maybe doing so might be an easy way of exploring exotic cuisines? As they say, you never know until you try!