National pancake day
September 26th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Just in time for the end of National Breakfast Month, September 26 is National Pancake Day.

Stacked and soaking up butter and syrup, spread out and covered with a fruit compote, pancakes are the ultimate comfort food. It’s no surprise this breakfast staple has a long history, dating back to the ancient Greeks. But, depending on where you are, pancakes will look vastly different.

In Germany, they’re made out of potatoes; in France and Belgium, they’ll be thin and light; in South Africa, they’re filled with lemon juice and sugar; and in Mexico, you might find a hotcake (a pancake made with cornmeal instead of wheat flour).

Depending on your batter, you can either end up with a crêpe, a pancake, a crumpet or a flapjack. All use the same technique: A batter of flour, eggs, milk and, in some cases, a leavening agent is beaten, left to rest and then poured in batches onto a hot griddle or pan. Typically, when bubbles form on the uncooked side of the pancake, it’s ready to flip.

Pancakes don’t necessarily stick to the sweet side of things either. In some parts of the world they’re served for dinner, filled with savory ingredients such as ground meat, onions and cheese. Because the American-style pancake is hard to roll up, and therefore hard to fill with ingredients, any additional flavors are added to the batter. Common preferences include fruit, nuts, chocolate chips and even granola.

Most Western countries celebrate what’s called Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday. In America, this day is called Fat Tuesday. It’s the day before Lent starts, a day most Christians use to indulge in the things they’ll be giving up until Easter. Back in the day, most people gave up eggs, sugar, fat and flour - all things found in pancake batter. The tradition has stuck, and now most English-speaking Christians eat pancakes the night before Ash Wednesday.

This was originally published in 2012, but you'd butter believe we love to talk about pancakes any chance we get.

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News

soundoff (13 Responses)
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    September 26, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  2. RichardHead

    Quit staring at my Hoecakes.....they are sensitive Ladies.......and don't even think about touching my sausage.

    September 26, 2013 at 10:49 am |
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    February 7, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  5. TheFoodStudent

    I had no idea that hotcakes were made out of cornmeal. Restaurants have seriously cheated me out of a different taste by labeling their flour pancakes as hotcakes. That aside, I could never give up pancakes for Lent. Funny how food and faith generally come together in an eclectic, but meaningful way.

    October 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
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    September 29, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  7. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I make roasted butternut squash pancakes... And there are only 3 to 4 ingredients necessary! Egg Whites, Roasted Butternut Squash and Cinnamon... You can sprinkle these "cakes" with stevia too for some added sweetness! So delish! :)

    September 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  8. ieeta cornbread

    Mmmmmmm those are some good looking sausage links.

    September 27, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  9. foodmom

    In Germany, pancakes are NOT made out of potatoes. You are mistaking Pfannkuchen (pancakes, very similar to an american pancake batter) with Roesti (often called "potato pancakes" in English. Also called Latkes). In southern Germany, Pfannkuchen are usually eaten with a fruit topping for dessert.
    Then, you have the Berlin version, which is really a jelly doughnut. This puts southerners like my children and me into fits of laughter when we hear JFKs famous line, "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a jelly doughnut).But that's Berlin for you.

    September 27, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  10. christythepianoteacher

    "September 26 is National Pancake Day." "Most Western countries celebrate what’s called Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday. In America, this day is called Fat Tuesday."


    September 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
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