Pancakes, who doesn’t like them? Especially since you can tweak and change them in whichever way you want! You can make thick pancakes, thin ones, large, tiny, airy, dense, sweet, savory, etc. etc. All start in a similar way, make a batter (not a dough, since it’s liquid) and fry it in a frying pan (or pancake pan, or hot stone, etc. etc.). What’s more, once I started browsing pancake recipes I noticed that just about every country seems to have its own pancake style!
Dutch versus American pancake culture
So let’s discuss pancake culture. Since I live in the Netherlands and grew up here, Dutch pancakes are my reference when I talk about pancakes. We Dutch tend to eat pancakes for dinner, thus in the evening. They tend to be large (cover a whole plate), not too thick and can be covered with both savory and sweet toppings. Just to name a few styles: boerenpannenkoek (this is a farmer’s pancake and could include bacon, cheese, onions, bell pepper, mushroom), the bacon and cheese pancake is popular (of course, it’s also covered with either icing sugar or sugar syrup, sounds weird? try it out, it’s jummy!), a pancake with ice cream or fruits (to finish the meal with something sweet).
Imagine our disappointment when, as a little kid, we were going out to eat pancakes in the USA. We thought it was weird that there were long line-ups for pancake restaurants in the morning, and even stranger that most pancake houses were closed in the evening! Once we finally found a pancake house that was open in the evening, we got this big pile of thick, dense pancakes with a lot of syrup. That wasn’t really what we expected!
Great, isn’t it? How cultures differ and how we tend to eat the same thing in a totally different way?