Pancakes aren’t as recent an invention as you might think. Researchers studying millennia-old rock tools suggest that the leftovers on their surface resemble flour. Moreover, introspection reveals that early humans made batter out of this and fried it on hot, greased rock. The outcome might not have been the pancake of today, but its foundations lay far back in the Stone Age!
The Story Behind Pancakes Day
The story of the Neolithic man Otzi reveals a lot about the origins of pancakes. Otzi the Iceman set out for his last walk about 5,300 years ago and, on his way, got buried in the rocky gullies of the Italian Alps. Archaeologists dug up his remains in 1991 and, with it, a treasure trove of knowledge about what the Neolithic humans consumed. The last meal of the buried man included ibex, red deer, and einkorn wheat. The pieces of charcoal ingested reveal that his people used to cook grain over an open fire, producing something akin to pancakes.
Irrespective of when we first discovered this dish, pancakes are, without a doubt, an ancient bit of cuisine. The great empires of the Greeks and the Romans enjoyed pancakes flavored with honey. The Elizabethan era is known for its pancakes garnished with spices, rosewater, apples, and sherry wine.
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Moreover, there used to be a day assigned to pancake-eating! Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day was a day of fun, feast, and merry before the onset of Lent. It was a great way of putting to use perishable goods like eggs, milk, and butter. In the colonies of America, pancakes had various names, like, johnnycakes, flapjacks, and hoecakes. America’s first cookbook, Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery, states two different pancake recipes that use a separate list of ingredients and sport different names. The book was published back in 1796.
American president Thomas Jefferson was hugely fond of pancakes. His French chef at the White House had his twist on the modern pancake, known then as griddlecakes. This recipe included pouring dollops of thin batter into a hot pan, making a light and airy treat. Jefferson liked this recipe so much; he sent it home to his family in Monticello.
Flat As A Pancake, Maybe Not
Flat as a pancake is such an oft-used adage that in 2003, a group of geographers came up with a plan to test the saying. They constructed topographical profiles of a representative pancake bought from the International House of Pancakes and of the Kansas plains with the assistance of the Geographical Survey of the United States. The results of the research showed that in comparison, Kansas was flatter than a pancake. Moreover, researchers will point out that if one makes a pancake the size of Kansas, one will end up with an expanse of ridges, craters, canyons, and gigantic air bubbles. Therefore, compared to a Kansas sized pancake, anything can be called flat. That adage does need changing! Hence check this out now!