Dietribes: Pancakes

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"¢Â People have always like a little help in the kitchen - the first pancake ready mix (Aunt Jemima) was sold in 1889. Now you can get your pancake mix from an aerosol spray can. Still not easy enough? Try a pancake on a stick, or a pancake-making robot!

"¢Â There are some ingredients, however, that cannot be packed away in a bag or a can - like snow? According to the Joy of Cooking, freshly fallen snow makes a great substitute for eggs as a riser in pancakes because of the ammonia content (... yummy).

"¢Â No mention of Pancakes is complete without a mention of IHOP! The chain was started in 1958 in Los Angeles (and now operates in all 50 states). The "international" moniker relates to the core crepe-style fruit-topped pancakes, more common in Europe. The IHOP in Vermont (not opened until 2007!) is the only one that serves real maple syrup.

"¢Â Get 'em while they're hot! Pancake Tuesday (a.k.a. Shrove Tuesday) is a British (and Canadian, Australian and New Zealand) pre-Lent celebration with a religious background. Though many of us in the US are more familiar with Mardi Gras and King Cakes, Pancake Tuesday has its roots in a long tradition (dating back to the 15th century) of eating all of the fatty foods one can before Lent, and occasionally participating in a festive race.

"¢Â You normally don't want to put food and E. coli together, but in this once instance it's a good match: a "living computer," bred from E. coli bacteria instead of stamped from silica, has for the first time successfully solved a classic mathematical puzzle known as the Burnt Pancake Problem.

"¢ Finally, I don't know why pancake faces are so scary, be they human or merely a pancake itself, but they are rather frightening!

"¢Â Pancakes have been around for centuries, with an astounding number of varieties (from latkes to crepes and every size, shape and puff in between) - how do you Flossers make your pancakes, and what do you top them off with?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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May 19, 2010 - 7:11am
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