The pancake is a classic breakfast and brunch food that has been popular in the U.S. for hundreds of years, even if it was called by other names early on. However, pancakes have been a staple in many other cultures even longer than that, and the history of pancakes stretches back thousands of years. With rich flavors and an even richer history, pancakes are an incredibly interesting food. Here are some interesting historical and cultural facts about pancakes that you may not have known before:
1. The oldest written record we have of pancakes is from ancient Greece. Around 600 BC, an ancient Greek poet described pancakes in writing. There is also evidence that suggests the ancient Romans had pancakes. Among these two groups, pancakes were usually made of flour, honey, and olive oil.
2. Pancakes were Ötzi the Iceman’s last meal. In 1991, the body of a man who lived between 3350 and 3105 BC was discovered, and researchers found evidence of a pancake-like food in his stomach.
3. Pancake Day and Shrove Tuesday fall on the same day. Because Shrove Tuesday is the day to feast before the start of Lent, it is a tradition in many cultures (such as in the UK and Ireland) to make pancakes in order to use up dairy products.
4. The term “pancake” has been around for hundreds of years. “Pancake” is a Middle English word that appeared in the 1400s. It later became the standard term in America in the 1800s.
5. Many cultures have their own versions of pancakes. From French crêpes and Dutch pannenkoek to Chinese cong you bing, there are so many kinds of pancakes all over the world.