Michiel and I recently held a dinner party at our apartment. Not just any dinner party, it was a pancake party. That’s right, pancakes for dinner.
But these weren’t ordinary pancakes. Or at least, as I know them to be. You see, pancakes in the Netherlands are not the same as in Canada. They are made differently, and are not eaten the same way. As a person who has had a rare peek into the Dutch world of ‘Pannenkoeken’, let me elaborate:
The Dutch Pancake
Pannenkoeken are thin. Almost like crepes, but not quite. You pour a small blob of batter into a buttered pan, and swirl the pan so it covers the surface area. Dutch people like to put stuff on top of the pancake while it’s being cooked. Stuff like bacon or cheese. The bacon kind of works its way into the structure, and the cheese gets nice and melty. Or they can be made plain, with toppings like apples and cinnamon to be added later. Regardless of how you fancy your toppings, you’ll be drizzling a thick, sugary, caramel-y brown ‘siroop‘ over the thing. It tastes like candy. Then you might want to shake some powdered sugar over it. Lastly, you ROLL UP your pancake (what?!) into a log and cut into slices before eating.
The Canadian Pancake
Pancakes in Canada are nice and thick. You pour the batter onto your pan and let it sit there and cook, without the swirling action. Sometimes the batter comes pre-loaded with blueberries or chocolate chips already mixed in. If you do go for bacon, it’ll be on the side of your plate, not inside the ‘flapjack’. You get your pancakes in a stack, and you eat them in a stack (or one by one, if you prefer). Some people put a little blob of butter on top, and maybe even a little icing sugar. The essential pancake topping is the good ol’ Canadian maple syrup. It is way less sweet than siroop, and not as thick. Secretly, I like siroop better. But don’t tell anyone. That would make me a bad Canadian.
And now you know the intricacies of international pancake consumption.
Here’s a couple photos from our party: