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The History of the Pancakes

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Define “pancakes”. Let me help you out: delicious, fluffy, and full of history. You might see pancakes as a great American breakfast, but once you hear where the first ever trace of a pancake was recorded, I bet you’ll be surprised.

Do you know where the first ever pancake was made? Or when it was made? Well, the first ever documented pancake was made in Ancient China in fourth century BC. They were fragile cakes made of wheat flour that were enjoyed by many. In the 1st century AD, the Ancient Romans wolfed down fried cakes made of milk flour, eggs, and spices.  When Shakespeare lived, around the 1560s, he mentioned pancakes four times in two plays. Strangely, both plays were comedies and the lines were said by clowns. In 1745, Americans learned about pancakes through the Native Americans, and started cooking cakes, called Hoecakes, on a hoe blade over an open fire.

Have you ever heard of Pancake Tuesday? Well, it’s first official name was Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is the last day that Christians have to eat all the eggs, flour, salt, and milk they have because Lent starts the next day. Lent is a six week long fasting period when Christians give up beef and chicken on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays of Lent. But the four basic ingredients of pancakes are eggs, flour, salt, and milk.

Have you ever heard of the pancake races in the UK? Well now you have! People compete in a race running down a street in Buckinghamshire carrying frying pans with cooking pancakes on them! The goal of the race, is to get to the finish line with a perfectly cooked pancake in your frying pan. This race is based on an old tradition. In 1445, a woman of Olney was cooking pancakes in her kitchen, when she heard the church bells ringing. She frantically ran out of her house, with her frying pan, and down the street into her church. Now, the pancake race is world famous.

To wrap it up, pancakes have a rich and never-ending history, just like the rich and hopefully never-ending amount of syrup you pour on them! Raise your hand if you love pancakes!

 

References:

 

“History of the Pancake.” My Old Dutch – My Old Dutch the Pancake House – Our History, www.myolddutch.com/History/History-of-the-pancake.aspx.

 

Network, Food. “Napa Pancakes.” Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com/videos/napa-pancakes-92754.

 

Rubb, Rebecca. “Hot off the Griddle, Here’s the History of Pancakes.” The Plate, 6 June 2014, theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2014/05/21/hot-off-the-griddle-heres-the-history-of-pancakes/.

 

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