A versatile meal builder, there are many different types of pancakes. This little pan fried delight is a part of the cuisine of virtually every country in the world, and it is eaten 24/7. It seems there are so many variations that about the only thing they have in common is the frying pan, except some types are baked in the oven instead of fried.
The Filling or Topping for the Pancake
The filling or topping for the pancake also has cultural differences. Most use some type of topping, such as syrup and whipped cream or fruit, and others are stuffed with fruit or cheese.
Here again, just about anything goes, as toppings and fillings can be fruit, cheese, meat, creams, syrups, ice cream, peanut butter, butter, jam, and other foods including chocolate, wine and nuts.
As a breakfast or dessert food, pancakes are topped or filled with sweets, fruits, or creams. For a main meal, the pancake can be combined with cheese or meats, or potatoes. Stuffed pancakes can be made by pouring a little batter in the pan, allowing it to set a bit, then laying the stuffing on it and topping with more batter before turning it over. The batter runs over the filling to seal it inside, and the filling is a surprise when the pancake is eaten.
When to Eat Pancakes
Timing for eating pancakes varies throughout the world. In many cultures it is an around the clock food, eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack time. In North America, pancakes are usually a breakfast food, but its popularity is great enough to support over 1000 IHOP (formerly International House of Pancakes) restaurants serving a wide variety of pancakes 24/7.
Pancakes are used for fundraisers, as pancake suppers, and pancake breakfasts are inexpensive menus that everyone in the family enjoys eating.
Some cultures, like Great Britain and Australia, feature pancakes as a sweet dessert. Small, silver dollar sized pancakes are used in hors d’oeuvres. Savory pancakes are served with main meals.
For a main meal, the pancake can be made with shredded potato, rice, and other vegetables. Those baked in the oven may be thicker than pan fried potatoes, and contain yeast for rising like bread. These are eaten with a meat meal such as pork. It may be served with soup, or in the soup like crackers.
Pancakes are a world wide favorite food, with billions served daily.