In the delicious spirit of How to Make Toast and Where Frosting Belongs and The Great American Brownies Debate, I bring you: The Pancake Rules — where we will properly crowdsource the rules of how to properly create, serve, cut and eat the ordinary pancake.
I love a good pancake. I now prefer them as plain — and healthy! — as possible, but as a young chum, I frequented iHOP, The International House of Pancakes, and spent a lot of eating time filling up on double-chocolate chocolate chip pancakes with triple chocolate whipped cream and a doppio hot fudge drizzle: Was I eating a stack of pancakes or a really dry malted milkshake?
The perfect pancake should be golden and light and fluffy. Embedding fruit or other sweets into the cake itself is not recommended because the whole experience then becomes about the addition and not the substance.
I can’t imagine eating more than a stack of three pancakes at a time. I’ve seen people stack the cakes six tall and cut the cakes and mash a forked mouthful of six chunks of pancakes into an open mouth as a first bite, and I don’t think that sort of over-indulgence does a stomach any good.
Cutting the pancake is an Art. I’ve witnessed amateurs who pre-cut their stack in geometric pie shapes using just their fork. I find that wasteful and indulgent. Knives cut. Forks stab. Yes, knives stab, too, but not in the pancake crowdsourcing world.
Why not just cut slivers of cake as you methodically move through the stack from the edges? This isn’t a donut that deserves proper pre-planning to finish with the hole intact to preserve the perfect last bite; nay, this is a massive blanket of golden goodness that should be allowed to retain its heat while being bitten and swallowed.
I am also astonished by those who pre-butter and then soak their pancakes in syrup before a single slice is made. That makes for an immediately mushy experience. It is much better to season as you go — to guarantee both freshness of the mouth and surprises for the eye.
What are your rules for eating pancakes?
Have you witnessed any sort of pancake eating abominations in others that you’d like to share with us today?