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Pancakes go global

Shrove Tuesday, the last day before the fasting time of Lent, is an important day in the run-up to the Christian festival of Easter, though it’s probably better known to most as Pancake Day. The intention is to use up all the rich foods and ingredients in the house before starting the ritual fast. Hence, mardi gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday” and an excuse for a carnival!

For us at home, this usually means taking eggs, milk and flour to whip up a batch of tasty pancakes! As one of the oldest known cereal-based foods, there are many variations, depending on region and culture. Sweet or savoury, with cheese, jam or maple syrup, they are devoured and enjoyed the world over!

The Flexicover Team sets out the humble pancake’s global reach.

Buttermilk pancake; USA

You can’t really go wrong with traditional American pancakes. These thick, fluffy discs make a comforting snack or breakfast for a great start to the day. Usually served as a stack, they are particularly delicious with maple syrup, butter and/or blueberries! For a mix of sweet and savoury on the palate, try them with strips of crispy fried bacon. You will find them in abundance in most cafés, roadside diners and brunch spots if you happen to be visiting USA this year.

Dosa; India

Traditionally dosas are a part of South Indian cuisine but today they’re eaten all over India (and the subcontinent), often for breakfast or a light lunch. It’s a thin and crispy savoury crêpe made from a fermented semolina or rice batter. Each district in southern India has its own variety of dosa recipes, from chilli to corn or cheese. Often eaten plain but with a wide array of accompaniments (such as chutneys), dosas are a mouth-watering dish! For something more heavy and filling, try a masala dosa stuffed with spiced potato filling. A must try if visiting India this year!

Pikelet; Australia & New Zealand

Served as a snack or part of an afternoon tea, these small, thick pancakes (similar to crumpets) are very popular in Australia and New Zealand. They’re made using self-raising flour which makes them noticeably light and springy. In some cases, icing sugar is also added to the batter to give it a slight initial sweetness even before adding any fillings. Eaten hot or cold, they’re usually served with whipped cream and jam for a delicious treat!

Crêpe; France

The super-thin, large diameter crêpe is another of those iconic French dishes to make your mouth water. Whatever your taste, you can almost certainly find one to suit you no matter the time of day! Often served by street vendors who make them right in front of you, they’re the basis of crêpes Suzette, giving off the delightful whiff of burning caramel and orange. During Candlemas (2nd February), folk will often try flipping a crêpe from a pan held in their right hand, whilst holding onto a coin in their left. If they can successfully catch it, the belief goes that you will come into riches that year - what a delicious prospect!

Tiganite; Greece

A popular Greek breakfast item, tiganites are small pancakes that have been eaten since at least the 6th century BCE. Often served with drizzled honey and topped with cinnamon, fruits or nuts, their unique variation is derived by adding olive oil to the batter. There is even a religious festival on the island of Corfu where they serve their traditional tiganites tou Aghio’, or “the Saint’s Pancakes”, on 12th December, in honour of their patron, Saint Spyridon. Make sure you try one (or a whole stack) if you’re heading that way this year!

Whichever pancake or local dish you are lucky enough to try this year, we at Flexicover are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away. Safe travels!