The Pancake: An Appreciation

Posted on February 23, 2008 

The Pancake: An Appreciation

Americans have their flapjacks and Hungarians their palascintas. Seems that a culture isn’t a culture without its very own pancake.

True, the supple golden discs are more common in the Western world, but pancakes sizzle on far-flung griddles in Indonesia, Syria and China. The pervasive, persistent pancake is, simply put, pandemic.

Why is that? What’s so special about pancakes that they defy history and national borders? What propels them into the upper echelon of elemental foods along with puddings, soups and stews, the dishes that make all of humanity salivate? The pancake has even vaulted a rung higher on the culinary ladder as it looms large in our imagination, inspiring folktales, sayings, festivals, silly races and ritualized food fights. How can such a humble foodstuff hold such sway?

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