Almost two-thirds of American adults buy pancake or waffle mix at the store, and slowly waking up to the smell of pancakes is an oft-treasured childhood memory. There are infomercials for pans claiming to make the perfect pancake dream come true. Singer Jack Johnson even wrote a hit song devoted to banana pancakes. Pancakes are comfort food, says Jimmy Lee, owner of the Original Pancake House in Atlanta. “Most people desire comfort food. So if they have a little stress or something going on in their lives and they need to come and relax and have a good meal, that’s where they come. Some people like cheesecake and some people like pancakes, see?”
The pancake isn’t a new concept, however, or an exclusively American one. Ancient Greeks enjoyed pancakes enriched with sesame seeds and honey, and the Elizabethans added rosewater and sherry. Today, cultures all over the world have some variation on the theme.
The incredible pancakes on our list vary from sea to shining sea. Some are sweet, some are savory, and some are so versatile they can be eaten at any time of day.
In the spirit of National Pancake Day coming up on Sept. 26, here's a world tour through the international pancake hall of fame.
In Australia, the small and thick pancakes called pikelets are popular as a snack, often served with afternoon tea. Pikelets can also be purchased ready-made in grocery stores, and heated up or served cold. Toppings often include jam and whipped cream.
Additional reporting by Elsa Säätelä.