Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00
Today and for more than twenty years in Mineola, pancakes and the Super Bowl go together like, well, pancakes and syrup, or pancakes and sausages. But pancakes have an interesting history of their own. At least one book has explored the history of pancakes, going back to the earliest records of cooking when batter was poured over a hot surface to make the most basic prepared food.
Ancient Greeks made Tagenites, in Russia and Eastern Europe it is various forms of a Blini, French of course have their Crepe, in Ethiopia it is Injera and Flapjacks fueled the Western expansion of our own American pioneers. The first record of a “pancake” recipe reportedly comes from a Dutch cook in the 1500s.
Battercakes have been used by many cultures for celebrations, for travel food, and eventually for a hearty breakfast.
There is even a Pancake Day, which unlike other holidays manufactured by special interests to sell greeting cards, gifts and flowers – actually has a historic purpose. The season of Lent in Christian religions is a time of abstinence, and in olden days, the day before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday was a day to get rid of sweets such as butter, eggs and milk to get ready for the fasting of the Lenten season.
Mix those ingredients together with a little flour and heat up that griddle for a sumptuous feast. Pancake Day proudly takes its place alongside the other names for the Lenten Eve including Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) and Shrove Tuesday.
Towns such as Liberal, Kansas and Olney, England celebrate around Shrove Tuesday with contests including pancake tasting and pancake flipping for distance and accuracy.
Until iHOP, the International House of Pancakes, came along, pancakes were all pretty much the same. By the way, everyone knew what iHOP was long before iPads, iPods and iPhones. But the introduction of fruits and flavors and various sizes of pancakes, from silver dollar to giant and with an assortment of toppings have made pancakes an American treasure.
Over twenty years ago (actually XXI Super Bowls ago), the Kiwanis Club of County Seat Mineola started holding its annual pancake breakfast on Super Bowl Sunday. New York Giants fans will remember Super Bowl XXV as the year they won the game when a late field goal attempt went wide right.
iHOP of Williston Park, and owners Steve and Doug DeFranco (and chef Joe Carvalho) graciously donate and make the pancakes for the Super Bowl Sunday Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, to be held this year at the Mineola Community Center from 8 a.m. until noon on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5. These are the same pancakes served at iHOP, for a bargain price and all proceeds benefit local charities. Your breakfast will be served by the Key Club students of Mineola, Wheatley and Carle Place High Schools.
While you are making plans for the Super Bowl, be sure to make plans now to start the day at the Mineola Community Center enjoying a true taste of history at the Kiwanis Super Bowl Pancake Breakfast.
More information is available on the club’s website www.countyseatkiwanis. org, or Facebook.com/kiwaniscountyseat, where you can “like” us and follow our annual charitable activities.