Pancakes in America

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

In America, the skill of pancake making certainly arrived with the earliest European settlers, and the national repertoire has been greatly expanded since then by migrant populations from around the world. The first authentic American cookery book, Amelia Simmons’s American Cookery, was published in 1796. It contains a pancake recipe that shows adaptation to local ingredients. Although the recipe specifies frying, it does not indicate how much fat to use, so the “Federal Pan Cake” may have been more like a fritter. Take one quart of boulted rye flour, one quart of boulted Indian meal, mix it well, and stir it with a little salt into three pints milk, to the proper consistence of pancakes; fry in lard, and serve up warm.