Let’s admit it – we all love pancakes. Pancakes are among the most famous dishes in the US. They can be made with a million variations, and each one is equally delicious. Whether it is a classic fluffy pancake with maple syrup or a modern-day crepe, everyone welcomes them. But do you know the history of pancakes and other tidbits that might interest you?
The history of pancakes goes as far as 30,000 years. Researchers have enough evidence to suggest that the earliest Greeks and Romans used to make a batter out of flour, water, and eggs and fry spoonful on hot rocks. As a result, flat-bread came into being. It is clear that pancakes are an ancient form of food.
Otzi the Iceman
Otzi was an iceman whose remains were found on the Öztal Alps in 1991. He is believed to have lived between 3,400 and 3,100 BCE. Archeologists found a wealth of information from his mummified body, including an idea about what the Neolithic people ate. It was found that Otzi’s last meal was red deer and ibex, along with einkorn wheat. Bits of charcoal suggest that the wheat was used in pancakes or similar food cooked over an open fire.
Pancake Day – Shrove Tuesday
In many Christian countries, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent – the 40 day fasting period that leads up to Easter.
Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day because it is the last day to use up all the eggs and fat in the house. The 40 days of fasting would only mean that all these ingredients would rot. So, traditionally, people would go to church to confess the “absolution” of their sins. A bell would ring to call people called the “Pancake Bell.”
To celebrate this day, practicing Christians eat pancakes all day. It may have started with religious connections, but today this day is celebrated worldwide regardless of anyone’s faith.
The Pancake Day in the UK
Well, at celebrations, the UK goes a little extra. They have dedicated events for Pancake Day, which varies with every region.
One of Shrove Tuesday’s most famous events is the pancake races organized throughout the UK. People wear fancy dresses with frying pans in their hands and race each other while flipping a cooked pancake.
This fun activity came into knowledge in Olney, Buckinghamshire. In 1445, a woman of Olney heard the Shrove Bell while she was making pancakes. She ran towards the church with her frying pan still in her hand in a hurry. From that day on, the Pancake race allows only homemakers who must wear aprons and headscarves.
The women must toss the pancake at least three times during the race. The first woman to do that and reach the bell-ringer is declared the winner.
At Westminster School in London, a boys’ procession starts from Westminster Abbey, and they gather into the school playground. The school cook then tosses a giant pancake over a five-meter-long bar. The boys race each other to get a piece of pancake. The one who gets the enormous part receives a cash prize from the dean.
The name might suggest something a person has, which makes him crazy for the pancakes. As much fun as it sounds, that is not quite the case. Pancake Syndrome is a medical condition caused by consuming flour that mites have infected. The consumers are caught with severe allergic reactions.
Fun facts about Pancakes
Read on to be amazed by the facts that this humble yet delicious food item holds. We have compiled a list of interesting bits of knowledge about pancakes:
- The First pancakes were called Alita Dolcia, which is “another sweet” in Latin. It was given this name by Romans in the 1st Century AD.
- The world’s biggest pancake measured more than 49 feet, and it weighed 6,614 pounds.
- In the US, the Southerners eat the most pancakes. They consume about 32.5% of the total consumption of pancakes.
- The world’s most expensive pancake is available in England at Opus in the Printworks. It costs $200.00 and includes exotic ingredients like Madagascan vanilla pods 23-carat gold leaves.
- In Sweden, you can order pancakes made out of pork blood. They are called Blödplatter.
- If you break the record of eating the most pancakes, your name will not be included in the Guinness Book of World Records as it is not one of their categories.
- According to Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase “flat as a pancake” has been a catchphrase since at least 1611.
- Before baking soda, chefs would use fresh snow to make their pancakes fluffy. Fresh snow contains ammonia, which makes the pancakes light.
- Pancakes were a cause of a political embarrassment in 2000. A GOP candidate Gary Bauer fell off the stage during a pancake breakfast fundraiser.
- A breakfast of two pancakes with butter and maple syrup adds up to 520 calories. This is equal to two hours of walking.
- Ever since McDonald’s introduced pancakes to their breakfast menu, their sales have increased by 11%.
- The most people to toss the pancakes at the same time happened in 2012 in Sheffield. A crowd of 890 people gathered to toss them for 30 seconds to make a world record.
- Mike Cuzzacrea did the highest pancake flip in 2010 in New York. He flipped a pancake at 31 feet and one inch, which is five times the previous record.
- The most pancake flips done in one minute were set by Australian celebrity chef Brad Jolly. He flipped a pancake 140 times in 60 seconds.
- Maple Syrup – used as a popular topping for pancakes, was originally a sweet drink. The Algonquin Indians discovered it.
- Pancake flour was the first ready-made food that was sold. Aunt Jemima introduced it in 1889 in St. Joseph, Missouri.
- The Guinness World Record for the most pancakes served by a team in 8 hours is 34,818.
BONUS: The Best Pancake Recipe
Now you know all about the pancakes and the weird yet interesting history they possess. This should be the point where you get a severe craving for fresh pancakes. How about we tell you a recipe that is easy to make and absolutely delicious to eat? Check it out then.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ cup milk
- Preheat your skillet to 350 degrees.
- Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl. If you want to add fresh fruits and nuts of your choice, add them to this mixture.
- Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.
- Here’s the trick that will make your pancakes the best: pour all the wet mixture into the dry mix at once.
- Take a large spoon and fold the mixture until it incorporates into one. You will be tempted to keep mixing but once the mixture appears as one, stop the mixing.
- Let the batter sit in the bowl. Once small bubbles start to appear, you’ll know that the batter is ready.
- Take about 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. You will see the pancake’s sides getting dry while the center is still wet. Use a spatula to turn it over, and make sure not to pat the pancake with it.
- Cook for another two minutes and your pancake is ready. Similarly, cook the rest and enjoy your pancakes with your favorite seasonal fruits.
From being consumed 30,000 years ago till today, pancakes have evolved a lot. Several delicious recipes have been introduced according to everyone’s taste and likes. If you are a fan of pancakes and cannot start your day without eating them in breakfast, then we hope you have been amazed by these little-known facts about them.