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.
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.
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.
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.
On a much more somber note, in Russia after a funeral, mothers are traditionally served a pancake called a Blini, that signifies the beginning and end of a life.
Pancakes are a great way to start or finish the day – on vacation, or sticking around the house for a day of Netflix bingeing.
Whether you want to slather your pancakes with syrup, scoops of fresh fruit or light sprinkling of powdered sugar and pepper (true story), they’re a great way to start off your day, especially on a weekend with the ones you love.