The History of Pancakes

By The Chew Crew Sep 26, 2012

It’s national pancake day today!  Break out that griddle and fire it up for some flapjacks.  Before you get started cooking find out where these famous cakes came from.
These tasty round cakes have been around since ancient Greece and even then were considered an excellent addition to the average breakfast.  The first record of them is from the poet Cratinus who described them as warm and delicious.
Of course, this popular breakfast treat is not exclusively found in ancient Greek culture.  Versions of the pancake can be found in France and Austria.  The French created a thinner disc-like version called a crepe which can be served with fruit, sauces and even chocolate.  In Austria-Hungary a sweeter dessert pancake, or Kaiserschmarrn, was create and served with berries, nuts, raisins and a plum or apple sauce.  The first version of this national favorite may have been served to the Austrian emperor Francis Joseph I.
During the Medieval and modern Christian periods, pancakes were also linked to the observance of Lent.  The holiday required Christians to abstain from eating fats, sugars and other luxury ingredients. So, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday became an unofficial pancake holiday where Christians tried to use up their remaining ingredients.
These days pancakes can be found in diners and restaurants all over the world, but if you want to make them at home here are a couple of our favorite recipes.

Michael's Bacon Pancakes

Carla's Blueberry Pancakes

Gwyneth Paltrow's World Famous Pancakes