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PANCAKES

On Pancake Day in Newfoundland (the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of lent), items are placed in the pancake batter before it is cooked to foretell the future for family members. If a boy received an item for a trade, it meant he would enter that trade. If a girl received an item for a trade, it meant she would marry a person from that trade.

The pancake is a thin flat cake made from batter and fried on a griddle or in a skillet. The batter usually consists of eggs, flour, milk or water and oil or melted butter. The recipe for the batter often varies to include such ingredients as buttermilk, sugar and sourdough starter. Whether they are called pancakes, griddlecakes, flapjacks, wheatcakes, or flannel cakes, they are among our most popular food choices. Pancakes, in one form or another, are found in almost every culture.

The first ready-mix food to be sold commercially was Aunt Jemima pancake flour. It was invented in St. Joseph, Missouri and introduced in 1889.
     It did not become popular until 1893 at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, when the then current owners of the name and formula, R. T. Davis Milling Company hired Nance Green to be the ‘real life’ Aunt Jemima. She demonstrated the pancake mix at the Exposition, and both Nancy Green and the mix were a big hit.

World's Largest Pancake Breakfast
In 1986, an event that bills itself as the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast was revived for the 350th anniversary of Springfield, Massachusetts. The breakfast has been held every year since then. Hundreds of volunteers help with the event. In 1999, more than 71,233 servings of pancakes were served to more than 40,000 people. If you stacked up all those pancakes, they'd be more than 2 miles high!
Library of Congress Local Legacies Project
 

 

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