Flapjacks, hotcakes, johnnycakes…are they relatives of the pancake?
Pancakes are a very popular choice for breakfast in Denver and all over the country. You’d probably have a hard time finding someone who doesn’t enjoy a short stack of fluffy pancakes, topped with butter and dripping with maple syrup. Entire restaurant chains have been built upon the simple pancake, which can be dressed up in so many ways.
A basic pancake batter contains flour, milk, eggs, milk or buttermilk, and a leavening agent to make them rise. Other flavors and ingredients are often added such as vanilla, spices, chocolate chips and bananas. The pancake goes by several other names including flapjacks, griddlecakes and hotcakes. All of these items are the same basic ingredients and cooking method, they just may be called a different name depending on region and the establishment. Typically flapjacks are a little smaller than pancakes, about 10 centimeters in diameter. Even smaller still are silver dollar pancakes, which are usually 5 to 7 centimeters. In England a flapjack is not a pancake at all, but a type of sweet bar cooking made from oats.
A johnnycake is a small pancake made from cornmeal, salt and hot water or milk, rather than wheat flour. Johnnycakes were a staple item for early Americans and now they are very popular in New England, particularly Rhode Island. The South also makes this dish but it is called a hoecake.
Americans are not the only people who enjoy pancakes. Crepes are very thin pancakes made from flour, milk and eggs. They are very popular in France, Belgium and Switzerland and are served in a variety of ways, both sweet and savory. Countries all over the world have their own versions of the pancake including Panqueques in Guatemala, the Serabi in Indonesia, and the Danish Ebelskiver.