Prehistoric pancakes… Celebrating National Pancake Day!
A fancy weekend breakfast, delicious dessert, and weekend brunch staple, pancakes have long been a food of comfort and celebration for individuals and families everywhere. But how well do we really know the humble pancake? What would you say if we told you that the pancake was likely to have been invented in the Stone Age?
The pancake has a long and surprisingly rich history, this prehistoric food (yes, you read that right) can be traced back millions of years, with research suggesting that our Stone Age predecessors may have ground their own flour-like substance from ferns and other plant matter, which was then mixed with water and cooked on a hot stone to create a pancake-like flatbread.
It’s incredible that a recipe that predates the written recording of human history is still consumed today, and while pancakes have certainly changed over millennia, the premise of the recipe remains largely the same. A starchy powdered base (like flour or buckwheat), combined with a liquid binding agent (water, milk, eggs), cooked on a hot surface.
While the shape, construction and flavour of pancakes vary worldwide the similarities are undeniable. In America, they’ve got fluffy and thick hotcakes. In Australia and New Zealand, we have pikelets which are denser and often enjoyed cold with jam and cream like a scone. The French are famous for Crepes, super-thin pancakes made with a thinner batter, while in Japan savoury pancakes known as Okonomiyaki are made from chopped cabbage and slathered in barbecue sauce and mayonnaise.
From Kenya to Kazakhstan, each country has its own take on the pancake. So, while we're celebrating our National Day of Pancake pride it's likely that the rest of the world will be enjoying a stack too.