They may be the preferred item on pancake house menus, but people have been eating them since long before restaurants.
Pancakes have long been a favorite of the American breakfast table. You’d be hard pressed to find people who did not grow up enjoying the classic combination of pancakes and maple syrup. But what do you know about the history of the humble star of pancake house menus? You may be surprised to learn that pancakes are actually an ancient dish.
It is believed that the earliest pancakes may date as far back as the Stone Age. These ancient versions weren’t made with flour, but more likely from ground up starchy vegetation that was mixed with water and cooked on a hot stone. This practice of making flat cakes from some form of grain or starch continued throughout history. The ancient Greeks made a version from wheat flour, olive oil and curdled milk. They were sweetened with honey and eaten for breakfast. Another Greek version was made with spelt flour and topped with honey, sesame and cheese.
The modern American pancake evolved from the hoe cakes and johnnycakes of Colonial times. These were made from cornmeal or buckwheat. The first recipes were published in the 1796 cookbook American Cookery by Amelia Simmons.
Today pancakes of all varieties are found in America and many other countries all around the world. They are, of course, still the star of all of The Original Pancake House menus, made from our signature sourdough starter. This gives them the light and airy texture they are known for. Come celebrate culinary history with us any day of the week!