How many different varieties of 'pancake' are there?

Joe
  • How many different varieties of 'pancake' are there? Joe

    I'm not talking about ingredient differences like adding blueberries or chocolate chips, or even buttermilk or cooked pumpkin to the batter ...

    How many fundamentally different regional types of 'pancake' are there? Either stuff called a 'pancake' or 'pan cake' in English, or where the literal translation to English is 'pan cake', even if it's qualified in some way (eg, a 'potato pancake')

    (I'm not interested solely in wheat batter based pancakes ... I'm actually interested in finding items that are the furthest away from American pancakes, but that some group would still call a 'pancake')

    update : oddly enough, this is indirectly a followup to my question on overpressurizing whipped cream. It was for a contest at my place of work called "Your Science as Food", and well, I won, so I'm trying to come up with a follow-up for next year. I've done the heliophysics theme for the last two years, by "my science" is actually information science, so I was thinking about having an exhibit with lots of 'pancake' items, and having a little survey of 'is it a pancake?' similar to this But Is It a Sandwich? survey, and want to find things that people will have to think about for a while if it's a 'pancake' or not.

  • I can think of several "bread"-like dishes that are made in a pan. Since they're all from cultures where I don't speak the language, I can't say for the translation of the name.

    • Ethiopian Injera - This is a bread made from wheat flour and teff flour with water, left out for three days to rise (think sourdough without a starter) and then cooked in a pan. It's quite sour, but has exactly the consistency of a fluffy pancake. This is the main staple of Ethiopian diet, served with a number of different "sauces".
    • Druze Pitta - This is a little different from a regular Pitta, as it doesn't have a pocket, and isn't baked so much as done on the top of a convex pan. The idea is similar to a flour tortilla, but the flavour is different.
    • Yemeni / Israeli Malawach - This is a pastry similar to filo or puff pastry, but with more margarine. It is then fried in a pan and served hot with crushed tomatoes and a hard-boiled egg on the side.
    • French Toast (pain perdu) - I'm not sure if this qualifies, but it is a slice of bread (already baked) drenched in egg and then fried in a pan.

    I can't think of anything else right now, but I'm sure there are plenty more.

  • there's

    • Ployes (French-Canadian buckwheat pancakes)

    and two not-so-sweet pancakes but oh so good:

    • Scallion pancakes (葱油饼 Chinese/Korean)
    • Latkes (potato pancakes)

  • It might take a linguist to really have a good answer there! I don't really have any good answers but I see where you're going... the term 'pancake' is so vague it could quite easily apply to many things that have not much in common.

    I haven't looked through this but it might be worth a look: Pancakes (Wikipedia).

    Assuming they'll mostly be the type of pancake you're not after, but there might be some interesting exceptions.

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