American cuisine has given us a lot of good stuff over the years – burgers, BBQ ribs, Cobb Salad – but there's nothing quite as synonymous with the USA foodie scene than American pancakes. Although you'll find this classic breakfast dish popping up around the world in all sorts of different shapes and forms, the American variety is peak pancake perfection – soft and fluffy, stacked and smothered with an array of toppings. And places like De Calf Café in Cork are bringing this star-spangled wonder here to Ireland.
America does it right
What's so special about the American pancake? Well, let's start with the basics. All pancakes start with a batter – usually made up of flour, eggs, milk and butter – which is whipped up and drizzled onto a hot, greased frying pan or griddle.
But American pancakes have something else – a raising agent such as baking powder. And just a smidgen of the stuff transports the dish to new levels. Fried up until golden on both sides, the pancake becomes luxuriously fluffy and ready to soak up a pool of sweet maple syrup, lashings of melted butter or both if that's how you roll.
Non-stop pancakes through the ages
Pancakes have been around for absolute ages, with evidence linking our favourite breakfast food back to Ancient Greece from mentions cropping up in 5th century BC poetry. And they must have really loved those pancakes to be writing poetry about them.
Across the world people came up with their own, unique take on classic pancakes, and landed in the American colonies in the late 1700s. They were – of course – loved far and wide, even by the President, Thomas Jefferson, who sent a recipe home to Monticello. Somewhere along the line, they started adding a leavening agent to bulk the formerly flat cakes up a bit, resulting in the fat, fluffy pancakes that we all know and love.
Stack and satiate
It's clear that here in Ireland we don't need any convincing on the subject of pancakes. We're one of several countries that shows pancakes serious appreciation, especially on Pancake Day. According to the Irish Times, we tucked into an estimated 12 million pancakes that day alone.
Stacked one on top of the other, thicker American pancakes are a natural stage for a spread of complementary toppings. Go savoury with slices of crispy bacon, salty sausages or smooth peanut butter. Go sweet with syrup, strawberry jam, drizzled honey, chocolate hazelnut spread, spicy cinnamon sugar or ice cream.
De Calf Café keeps things classy with their take on American pancakes. You'll find them stacked high with fresh whipped cream, a sweet fruit compote and drizzled with maple syrup. If you want to beef things up USA style, add a side of bacon too.
Make Pancake Day any day here on Deliveroo.