Whether you prefer classic American pancakes paired with melted butter and maple syrup or a French crêpe topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream, we can all agree that nothing compares to the smell of fresh pancakes. (Unless you’re Oliver from “Green Acres.”)
But have you ever wondered what these pancakes look like around the world? Well, you’re in luck! Read on to discover some of the differences between American pancakes and other pancakes from around the world.
One of the most noticeable differences seen between American pancakes and other pancakes is the former pancake’s texture. In North America, pancakes are typically made using a leavening agent, such as baking powder, which ensures that the pancakes will be thick and fluffy.
Americans usually serve pancakes for breakfast (even though they make a mighty fun dinner). The pancakes are often stacked on top of each other, drizzled with maple syrup and melted butter. Despite their sweet flavor, pancakes are typically served next to savory items like bacon, eggs, and toast.
Lastly, American pancakes are relatively small. Generally, they are 1cm thick and between 10-25cm wide.
French crêpes are much thinner in comparison to their North American counterparts. Crêpe batter does not call for any leavening agent. Additionally, another key difference between the two is that, unlike pancakes, crêpes are folded and served with some type of filling.
Crêpes can be either sweet or savory. Sweet crêpes are called crêpes sucrées in French and are made from wheat flour. They are typically filled with chocolate spread, sugar, fruit, syrup or whipped cream and are a popular choice for breakfast or as dessert.
Savoury crêpes (galets) are called crêpes salées in French, and are made from non-wheat flour. These galets are most commonly filled with vegetables, cheese and meat, and eaten for either lunch or dinner.
Regarding their size, crêpes are also wider than American pancakes—on average, crêpes are made to be around 30cm wide! Other popular European pancakes similar to crêpes include: palacinka/palačinka (Slovakia Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Serbia), palacsinta (Hungary) and Palatschinke (Austria).
Japanese Soufflé Pancakes
While these soufflé pancakes have similar ingredients to American pancakes, their texture is very different. In Japan, these pancakes are called Fuwafuwa Pancakes. We can trace its roots all the way back to the 16th century.
To make soufflé pancakes, you have to pay attention to two important differences. The first is to use less flour than what you would use for American pancakes. This will make your pancake batter less dense. The second difference is that the recipe requires you to beat the egg whites into a meringue before folding them into your pancake batter.
The result is a very soft, light, and airy pancake, much taller than typical American pancakes. You can eat soufflé pancakes as breakfast or dessert and pair them with sweet toppings and matcha tea.
Although we might initially think that pancakes are made the exact same way throughout the world, there are definitely a handful of unique variations that depend on a country’s culture and cuisine. If you are craving some extra fluffy pancakes for breakfast, give a Japanese soufflé pancake a try. Feeling a bit more savory? Why not a galet? And then, of course, if you want pancakes for dinner, the best way to go is the all-American. Now I’m hungry!