Today is Pancake Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday).

Shroving is a ancient British custom in which children sang or recited poetry in exchange for food or money.
A popular shroving rhyme went like this:

Knock, knock, the pan’s hot
And we are coming a-shroving
For a piece of pancake
Or a piece of bacon
Or a piece of truckle* cheese
Of your own making.

*Truckle cheese is barrel shaped and is often mature Cheddar.

Did you know there are loads of different ways to make pancakes?  One thing that still trips Imageme out here in Ireland is seeing pancakes in vacuum sealed bags for sale in the store. They are pre-made pancakes in plastic bags on the shelf.  Totally strange!  They also eat savoury pancakes here–which was a new experience for me!  When I first arrived, we were out to eat for breakfast and I noticed pancakes on the menu.  Excited for a taste of home, or at least comfort food, I ordered them! They came plain, no butter or syrup.  When I asked for syrup, they didn’t have any in the restaurant. I was heart-broken.

So, here is a list of the various types of pancakes I found.  How many of these have you tried?

America (USA):  American style pancakes are particularly thick or fluffy, and best served with Vermont maple syrup and butter.  Some American cooks add a little vanilla, while others add blueberries; most also add baking powder to create their ‘griddlecakes’.

Canada:  Canadian pancakes are moister than American ones but still served with maple syrup.

China:  Chinese pancakes are fried in sesame oil and are apparently superb with duck.

Finland:  Finnish pancakes are ideal for people with a sweet tooth, these should be served with jam, whipped cream, berries, cinnamon and sugar, honey or maple syrup.

France:  The French excel at crepes [sweet] and galettes [savoury] and often serve them with a bowl of local cider.

Germany:  The Germans tend to make apple pancakes which are baked in the oven.  They also have ‘Puff’ pancakes, which look like English ‘Yorkshire Puddings’.

India:  Indian pancakes sound scrummy; savoury pancakes are prepared with ginger, garlic and cayenne. Mung beans may also be part of the recipe.

Italy:  Calzonia are common in Italy, they are more like an enclosed pizza than an English pancake.

Mexico:  The renowned Mexican pancake equivalent is the wheat tortilla; I’ve also eaten them made from maize [cornmeal].

Netherlands:  ‘Flensjes’ are crepe cakes, usually made with apples and occasionally rhubarb.

Nigeria: Nigerian pancakes are often served with beans, tomatoes and shrimp, making a complete meal.

Norway:  ‘Krumkakes’ are thin, crisp, cone-shaped cookie-like crepes, often served at Christmas. They are sometimes made with a special flat iron which leaves a decorative pattern.

Poland: Polish pancakes, ‘Nalesniki’, are thin crepes which are usually served with a special cottage cheese filling.

Russia: The regular Russian pancake of choice is the ‘blini’: which is small and thick, ideal with sour cream or caviar.

Sweden:  The Swedish Raggmunk is made from riced potatoes.

Welsh: The Welsh make their pancakes with buttermilk or sour cream.