Pancakes may be eaten at the breakfast table with butter and maple syrup here in America, but they are common across all cultures. They come in different shapes and sizes and may be eaten differently, but they all resemble each other in one way or another. This is just another example of the universality of food and how different cuisines can impact another. Here is a list of countries and their takes on pancakes to inspire your next breakfast, meal or snack.
1. Malaysia and Singapore
Apam balik is found throughout Southeast Asia, but is most commonly found in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s simply made of flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda, coconut milk and water. It’s usually filled with peanuts, cheddar cheese or chocolate sprinkles, folded over, and served as a street-side snack.
Even though it’s not dusted with sugar or filled with a tart jam, raggmunk still involves a fried batter, which is the essence of a pancake. The golden brown rounds of potato are perfect with some salted pork and lingonberries.
Pajeon is a traditional Korean dish with a lot of versatility. Like the raggmunk, it’s a savory pancake made with different flours including rice flour, eggs and green onions. The versatility comes from adding different toppings like meats, seafood, and kimchi. It’s pan-fried to a golden crisp and eaten as a snack or side dish and can be found in almost any traditional Korean restaurant.
Blini are thin Russian pancakes that used to be served to celebrate the end of winter back in the day. Typically, a yeasted flour and water batter is folded up to encase some tart fruit or creamy cheese which is then sautéed or baked to perfection.
Venezuela may have some picturesque views with the Andes and the Amazon rain forest, but let’s not forget the food. Cachapas are a common street food in Venezuela and are also eaten for breakfast. The corn batter is fried or boiled and is eaten with cheese or pork for an additional pump of flavor.
Perhaps the most common foreign pancake of them all is the crêpe. Creperies have been popping up all over the country, and people commonly eat crêpes at home as well. These thin pancakes originated from Brittany in the northwest region of France, and are made as a savory and sweet dish. Whether these are filled with cheese and vegetables or with jam and fruit, they are très delicieux for any time of the day.
7. South Africa
South Africa’s pannekoek is a variation on the original recipes from the Netherlands and Belgium. They resemble crêpes and are made with more or less of the same ingredients. In South Africa, they are rolls of soft pancake coated with cinnamon and sugar and are enjoyed at outdoor events.
Tiganites might be the oldest pancakes in the world, dating back to sixth century B.C. Back then and now, people eat these ancient pancakes for breakfast. They are very similar to pancakes served in America and are often topped with honey, nuts, and goat cheese.
Though it initially emerged from South India, dosa is enjoyed throughout all of India. It diverges from other pancakes with its fermented batter made of rice and black lentils. It’s cooked on a griddle and served with an assortment of chutney on the side.
10. United States
We end our journey in the United States where pancakes are the ideal breakfast on a Saturday morning. Cooked until a fluffy, spongey, golden-brown, pancakes are often served plain with maple syrup and butter or are studded with berries or chocolate chips for an added sweetness.