Pancakes Sooth the Soul, Pandemic or No

The masks are starting to come off, travel is opening up again, and remote workers are deciding whether to return to the office. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of breadmaking. Netflix, sourdough, and Zoom were the watchwords for most of 2020. 

But now that things seem to be improving, we can focus a little less on surviving and more on making the most of our time. Why not try the next best thing to homemade sliced bread – homemade pancakes. 

Pancakes have been a part of people’s diets since recorded history. Street vendors in ancient Rome would sell Alita Dolcia (translated: another sweet) to passing Senators and businessmen in the city, often drizzled with a little honey. 

A Fluffy Morsel of History

The shape of the pancake is said to represent the sun and the start of spring. It seems every nationality has their take on pancakes, although the strangest is probably veriohukainen or blodplättar pancakes in Scandinavia – where pigs’ blood is mixed into the batter. 

Shape of Pancakes

The Japanese have been indulging in their own form of pancakes – funo-yaki (麩の焼き) – since the 16th century. Sen no Rikyu added them as a sweet treat in the Japanese tea service he invented. They disappeared after the shogun rule was overturned, then reemerged around World War II as okonomiyaki, which is sort of an omelet type of pancake, with several ingredients baked in.

Japanese Pancakes

In the Netherlands, it used to be common to have “pannenkoeks” as a traditional breakfast on your wedding day. And while it’s doubtful that Queen Elizabeth II is actually in the kitchen, she does have a royally approved recipe for pancakes. 


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