Pannenkoeken (aka Dutch pancake), a delicious Dutch dish, is a staple of the diet choices in the Netherlands. In every country where Dutch culture is present, you can actually find special Dutch Pannenkoek restaurants, serving a multitude of sweet and savoury variations. Pannenkoeken can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, because the variety of choices makes them perfect for any meal. Where does the Dutch pancake come from? Read more about the history of the Pannenkoek in this blog article below.
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How did the Dutch pancake get its name?
In ancient Europe the pancake often was called a “pannekoek” – the Dutch word for the pan in which it was cooked. The earliest mention of a Dutch Pannenkoek was found in an ancient Dutch manuscript from 1183. The document describes how to fry one round pancake or two rectangular ones that are placed on top of each other for cooking. To make a well-shaped round pancake it is necessary to use a good iron skillet with deep sides that does not stick easily.
In the American colonies, pancakes—known as hoe cakes, johnnycakes, or flapjacks—were made with buckwheat or cornmeal. The Dutch pannenkoek is thinner (like a ‘crepe’) and usually made from wheat-flour.
Where did the Dutch “Pannenkoek’ (Pancake) come from?
Researchers found pancake traces in the stomach of Ötzi the Iceman. These are famous human remains that date back more than 5,000 years!
The first recorded mention of pancakes dates back to 600 BC in ancient Greece and comes from a poet who described warm pancakes in one of his writings. In 1100 AD, people referred to ‘Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day), a traditional way to use up dairy products before lent.
There are many references to ‘pan cakes’ in the history of Rome. They were typically made from wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk.
The history of ‘Hollandse Pannenkoeken’ or Dutch pancakes goes back to the 12th century when pancakes were part of the daily food in China and Nepal cooked with buckwheat and water. History suggests that the crusaders liked them so much that they brought them to Europe.
The Dutch perfected the pancake recipe through the years and made them nothing less than worldwide famous.
Why are Dutch Pancakes so delicious?
A Dutch pannenkoek is NOT your average North American pancake. They taste completely different, and better! It is the topping variety (plain, sweet, or savoury) that makes the Dutch pancake so special. Each one can be different!
A pannenkoek size and taste can vary depending on who is cooking and the method used. Usually a pannenkoek is prepared with about a 12” diameter, rolled out thin with often a multitude of fruit, veggies, and meat ingredients cooked right in the batter with sugar served right on top. The more ingredients added, the more filling a pannenkoek becomes!
Many Dutch pannenkoeken restaurants serve about 50 different combinations on their menu. Besides the suggested combinations you can usually “Build Your Own Pannenkoek” as well.
How do you make a Dutch pancake from scratch?
A pannenkoek (plural: pannenkoeken and ‘pannekoek’ in Old Dutch), is a pancake that is part of the many Dutch delicacies. They are typically large, whole-pan size and are much thinner than a traditional American pancake (but not quite as thin as the French crepe). Below the Dutch pancake recipe.
Pannenkoeken are made from a simple batter of eggs, milk, flour, and a bit of salt. (Traditionally you would often find them using buckwheat flour.) They can be eaten plain, or with a dark, thick cane syrup called stroop, and/or powdered sugar. Batter is put into the skillet with some lard or butter without any leavening such as yeast or eggs. When golden brown, turn them over to cook on the other side. The outside is used as a cooking surface while the inside cooks through.
Pannenkoek fillings can be sweet or savoury. Thinly sliced bacon, apples, cheese, or raisins are most common. But feel free to get a little crazy. Eat them with a combo of mushrooms and bacon, Gouda and apples, apples and raisins, bacon and cheddar; you get the idea.
Traditionally, Dutch pancakes filled or not, are rolled and then eaten. Slice them and use a fork and knife if you’re feeling civilized, or just grab it with your fingers and dig in.
Where can I get the ingredients to make Dutch Pannenkoeken?
Global Reach Confections and More is an International, Continental Supplier, Importer, Wholesaler, Specialist, Distributor, Grocer, Producer, Online Store, Expat Shop, Market, Toko, Deli, for European, Dutch, and British Foods, located in Calgary, Canada.
Our goal is to introduce Canadians from coast to coast to quality Dutch and British foods, including unique brand name European confections.
We provide a variety of Dutch pannenkoeken products to many Canadian food retailers. Click our STORE LOCATOR to find a Dutch food provider near you!