Brunch

The History of Pancakes – A Modern Brunch Staple

When you think of brunch, a few dishes always come to mind: eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes. Pancakes are known for being one of the most popular sweet offerings for breakfast and brunch. Their versatility makes them a perfect blank canvas for any toppings imaginable.

Have you ever wondered how we ended up with these delicious, fluffy cakes? While we see them as a brunch staple for modern times, the history of pancakes goes back a lot further than you may have thought.

A Pancake Timeline

Would you believe that pancakes are recorded back in ancient Greek writings? The timeline below will give you a fun history of our favorite brunch sweet.

  • 600 BCE: The first recorded mention of pancakes came from a Greek poet who described warm pancakes in one of his writings.
  • 1100 CE: Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) became a traditional way to use up dairy products before Lent began. This is where the pancake breakfast is believed to have originated.
  • 1700s: Before moving to baking soda, chefs used fresh snow to make their pancakes light and fluffy. The problem? Snow contains ammonia.
  • 1800s: Milk (and sometimes cream) became the preferred liquid in pancake batter. Before this, brandy and wine were used just as often.
  • 1870s: The flapjack became known as the pancake officially in America.
  • 1880s: Maple syrup became the topping of choice.
  • 1931: Bisquick hit store shelves for the first time. Cooks across America began using this pre-made pancake mix to make fluffy pancakes.
  • 1985: National Pancake Week was established to create a weeklong celebration of all things pancake. To this day, National Pancake Week is held during the last whole week of February. Don’t get it confused with National Pancake Day, which is September 26th. Americans love celebrating this fluffy delicacy!
  • 2000s: Though brunch originated in the 1930s, it took off in America more than ever shortly after the turn of the century, with Internet searches for the meal growing yearly since 2004. With the popularity of brunch increasing, pancake lovers around the country rejoiced that there was yet another acceptable time to indulge in their favorite breakfast sweet.

Pancake Lovers Unite

If you love pancakes covered in maple syrup, topped with fresh berries, or with bacon cooked inside, you should be eating at brunch cafe. Go out and dig into this historical food this weekend and express your gratitude for the journey it took to get us this delicious dish.

brunch cafè

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