Pancakes are enjoyed around the world as a familiar favorite on the breakfast plate but have you ever wondered where this tasty morning treat originated from? In this blog, we will discuss the origins of pancakes and a brief history of how they have been enjoyed over the years.

Early History

Did you know pancakes are one of humankind’s oldest dishes? Knowing the exact diet of our ancient ancestors can be difficult, but scientists have pieced together some of the tools from the stone age to determine that one of the foods enjoyed by people in this time period, almost 30,000 years ago, was a type of pancake. When we think of these fluffy cakes we serve fresh in the Original Pancake House today, it’s quite a bit different than what our ancient ancestors would have eaten. These ancient flapjacks would have been made with a flower substance made from various plants and heated on a rock.

Ötzi the Iceman
You may recognize the name Ötzi the Iceman, but what does he have to do with pancakes? Upon his discovery in 1991, this frozen iceman showed scientists a glimpse of life frozen in the past. Upon inspection of his stomach, a pancake-like batter was found along with red deer, and ibex, showing the world that pancakes have been a familiar favorite for over 5000 years!

Ancient Greece and Rome
Many of the world’s influences today come from the ancient civilizations of the Greeks and Romans. Our love for pancakes is one of those. These tasty treats were commonly enjoyed at events like theater performances, Colosseum fights, and at gatherings of the ruling classes at the time. Known as Itria to the Greeks and Alita Dolcia to the Romans, they were enjoyed for the sweet taste of honey drizzled over them.

Pancake Day

While some trendy foods have a day dedicated to them for marketing purposes, pancake day has a very different origin. For those participating in Lent, the 40 day period before Easter, you may notice people often eat pancakes. This day is known as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, and our favorite, Pancake Day! During Lent, people often did not eat animal products like milk, butter, and eggs, the key ingredients to a perfect pancake. This has evolved into a tradition over several hundred years of celebrating by enjoying pancakes on the day leading up to the start of Lent.

Enjoyed Around the World

Today pancakes are enjoyed everywhere around the world, with millions of unique recipes and ways to eat them. Every culture has its own way of preparing this delicious dish, and there are variations like crepes, potato latkes, pönnukaka, pfannkuchen, chataamari, lempeng, roti, pikelets, and so many more.

If you read this and are hungry for pancakes, stop by the Original Pancake House in Denver! We have been serving delicious breakfasts to the Denver area for over 20 years, and we would love to serve you. Every recipe we serve is made with high-quality ingredients, lots of care, and a passion for delicious food. Stop by our family-friendly restaurants today and enjoy our delicious version of a meal loved for over 30,000 years.
Discover one of our locations in the Denver Tech Center and Cherry Hills today.