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An eclectic collection of facts, histories, information and trivia about various foods, beverages, equipment, plants, and animals etc. from around the world

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ASHCAKE

Johnnycakes, johnny cakes, jonnycake, ashcake, battercake, corn cake, cornpone, hoecake, hoe cake, journey cake, mush bread, pone, Shawnee cake, jonakin, and jonikin.

These are all regional names for cornmeal flatbread. The name, exact type of batter and cooking method varies from region to region.  They may be cooked over the ashes of a campfire, on hot stones, on a griddle, in a cast iron pan, or in the oven.

The original New England Johnnycake was a dry flat bread made with corn meal, salt and water, and baked on hot stones. Native Americans showed the Pilgrims how to cook with corn (maize) and most likely taught them how to make johnnycakes.  

The origin of the name is in dispute, possibly a corruption of Shawnee cake (from the Shawnee Indians) or 'journey cake' because it was easily prepared by travelers, or possibly based on some long forgotten Indian word by way of 'jonakin' or 'jonikin.'

Also popular in the Atlantic Midland and Southern States in the United States, versions (made with other types of whole meal other than corn) are also found in the West Indies and Australia.  Modern version are frequently made with eggs, oil, and baking powder for leavening.
 

 

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