Pancake Day, aka Shrove Tuesday, is arguably one of the best days of the year. Historically, as the day before Ash Wednesday, it was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before the Lenten fast began. Though few of us will likely be fasting for 40 days this year, that doesn’t mean we can’t take part in a good old pancake feast.
This year, pancake celebrations will fall on Tuesday 28th February. To help you take your pancake game to the next level, visit one of these destinations known for their take on this classic comfort food.
Uttapam toppings are mixed into the batter before frying
Originating in South India, uttapam is a thick pancake. Its appearance is similar to traditional pancakes but with one big difference – instead of toppings, additional ingredients are mixed in with the batter just before frying. Uttapam is always served with a sauce, akin to a savoury chutney.
Apam balik are a popular treat at markets in Malaysia
The people of Malaysia take their version of pancakes, apam balik, seriously; the dish has been declared a heritage food by the Malaysian Department of National Heritage. It is is a thin, griddle-style pancake that is filled with peanuts, sugar, or sweet corn kernels. Once cooked, the pancake is folded and cut into bite-size pieces.
Pannenkoeken are delicious with both savory and sweet toppings
Dutch-style pancakes, known as pannenkoeken, are found in the Netherlands’ ubiquitous pancake houses. Pannenkoeken are thin and large, much like a crêpe, topped with savoury or sweet syrups, from goat’s cheese and bacon to chocolate and raspberries.
No dish of raggmunk is complete without a side of raw lingonberries and salted pork
The Swedes have the perfect pancake to warm up with on a cool winter’s day: raggmunk. These potato pancakes are made from grated potato, flour, and egg with garlic or onion as optional extras. They are best served with raw lingonberries and salted pork.
Wafer-thin crêpes are a French delicacy
Crêpes are arguably one of the best-known forms of pancake and for good reason. These wafer-thin pancakes hail from the Brittany region of north-west France and can be prepared with sweet or savoury toppings. But nothing beats a classic crêpe sprinkled with lemon juice and sugar.
In Finland, pannukakku are baked not fried
Finland’s pannukakku stands out because, unlike other types of pancake, it is baked not fried. The pannukakku batter is placed in a large pan and placed in the oven before it is cut into squares and served with whipped cream and jam.
Instead of batter, cōng yóu bǐng are made with dough
Scallion pancakes, also known as cōng yóu bǐng, have an interesting backstory. It is rumoured that Marco Polo brought them back to Italy, where they were eventually adapted into what we know today as pizza. While similar in appearance to pancakes, cōng yóu bǐng are made from dough instead of batter and scallions (spring onions) are folded into it before frying.
Learn how maple syrup is made at a Canadian sugar shack
If you want to tuck into a tall stack of thick pancakes, there’s no better place to visit than Canada. Possibly the world’s most popular pancake topping, maple syrup, comes from Canada, so you can spend the day at one of the country’s countless sugar shacks learning how this sweet ambrosia is made. And of course don’t leave before tasting a plate of fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped with some fragrant, freshly-made syrup.