Pancakes Around The World
When most of us think ‘pancakes’, we think sweet breakfast treat, thin batter, sugar, lemon and syrup. If we’re feeling exotic, we might stretch to the buttermilk variety from across the pond, but these brunch favourites are merely the tip of the iceberg.
In fact, pancakes are a universal delight, with almost every country having their own variation! The definition of ‘pancake’ is broader than you might think, simply constituting a ‘flat cake, prepared with a starch-based batter, and cooked on a hot surface’. Here are just a few of our favourites from around the globe!
Scottish ‘Drop Scones’
Let’s start with a couple of lesser-known varieties from right here in the UK! Generally served at tea time, Scottish Drop Scones are small, thick pancakes with the addition of cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda. They are made using the traditional method of dropping batter onto a griddle pan, and can be served with jam and cream or hot with butter.
Crempog batter is made using flour, eggs, buttermilk, vinegar and salted butter, and – like Scottish Drop Scones – are cooked on a griddle. They are normally served as a stack and topped with butter on special occasions such as birthdays and (of course!) Shrove Tuesday.
Chinese ‘Cong You Bing’
Chinese pancakes are generally made from dough rather than batter, and this particular one is folded with oil and minced spring onions, a staple ingredient in Chinese cuisine. They are served as both a street food snack and a restaurant dish, and there are a number of regional varieties of the basic recipe.
South African ‘Pannekoeke’
Pannekoeke is typically reserved as a warming treat on wet and cold days in South Africa, served with a tasty topping of cinnamon sugar and lemon juice. It can be left for the toppings to dissolve, softening the pancake, or eaten immediately to retain the crispy texture.
Serabi is traditionally made using rice flour and coconut milk and can be eaten with either sweet or savoury toppings. Some popular choices include kinca (a coconut sugar syrup), sugar, peanuts, bananas, jackfruit, cheese, sausage or shredded chicken.
Tiganites are made using olive oil, which produces a pancake very similar to a crepe, only slightly thicker. This variety is popular across both Greece and Cyprus, and can be served with a number of delicious toppings including honey and cinnamon, chopped nuts, fruits, cheese or vegetables.
A national dish in a number of African countries including Ethiopia, Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a soft and spongey texture which is perfect for absorbing flavours and sauces. It is traditionally served topped with a selection of stews, with torn of pieces of Injeras being used to pick up and eat them, making it simultaneously a food, eating utensil and plate!
Have you ever come across any of these varieties? Perhaps you could try something new this Pancake Day!