Food Liberalism & The Death of the Pancake

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Adrian Rutt

Life is like one of those sand art thingies that gets destroyed after it's completed.

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145 Responses

  1. Avatar veronica d says:

    But wait, I’ve been getting blueberry pancakes since I was a tiny veronica. This is not new.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko says:

      My grandmother, a woman in her 80’s from small-town eastern North Carolina, served us blueberry pancakes the morning after Thanksgiving every year when I was a kid. Not new at all.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Seconded, you can have my blueberry pancakes (ideally made with sweet wild Nova Scotian blueberries not their fat bland mildly sour commercial cousins) when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

      Also having come to Minneapolis with its Scandinavian and dutch roots I’ve discovered, with joy, the ancient tradition of the pannekoeken which would surely give poor Adrian heart palpitations of a negative variety.Report

      • Avatar veronica d says:

        PEOPLE SHOULD BE FREE TO CHOOSE THE PANCAKES THEY WANT!

        (Or crepes, I suppose, if that’s what they like. Even waffles, maybe, if it proves necessary.)Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Liege Waffles!
          Or, if you’re Amy, you can have all the waffles!
          (The gal who tried Every Waffle Joint in NYC…)Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

          I’m not against the culinary union of flour and blueberries. I just don’t like people trying to redefine pancakes.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Problem with waffles is they’re mind melting delicious for about 5 minutes off the griddle then they are just wa-wa-waaah.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          You are implying that there is something untoward with waffles? Why? They are pancakes with little butter and syrup pockets! You can even make them with blueberries if you don’t mind the possibility of having to give your waffle iron a good scrub afterward.

          Delicious little pockets!Report

          • Avatar North says:

            *sigh* fine, I’ll go there. Waffles are too much work. I can make pancakes blind hung-over on two hours of sleep while pretending to listen to my mother chatter on the phone and grunting wittily at appropriate intervals. Waffles require more than that.Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              My pancakes require more work than that.
              I refuse to own a waffle iron — too dangerous.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco says:

                And they’re unitaskers. Back before he became just a celebrity, Alton Brown had a lot of things to say about unitaskers – and except for fire extinguishers, he rarely saw them positively.

                Note: I’m specifically excluding the possibility of a waffle iron where the plates flip over to become a panini press. That’s not a multitasker, it’s just silly because it doesn’t do either job properly.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                He also probably doesn’t eat the same thing every day. If you eat popcorn every day, buy a popcorn popper.

                I don’t eat toast a lot, so I don’t have a toaster (I consider that a unitasker, personally).Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

              My waffle iron is (because my wife has a strong Norwegian identity) one that makes the little heart shaped waffles. The best part of those is that they freeze really well, which means when my son has a hankering for pancakes/waffles, and I can’t muster up the will to make fresh ones, I can pull some out of the freezer, nuke ’em for 45 seconds, and give him his fix.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Sure and microwaved heart shaped waffles will suffice for a little man like that but a late 30’s hung over homo requires more than a microwaved waffle to get moving in the morning (unlike his husband who’s bouncing around after two slices of bacon and a cup of coffee chattering about wanting to go for a walk*).

                *God(ess?) I hate him!**
                ** God(ess?) I love him!Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Last time he wanted them, the “little man” tucked away 20 of the damn things, plus strawberries. Kid can eat. If he wasn’t so damn tall and lean, I’d worry about him…Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Worry about him around 28 when his young metabolism says “Whelp, my work here is done, I’m off to Florida. My colleague Adult Metabolism will be taking it from here. Good luck.” Man oh man I miss the metabolism of a 20 year old. It just went in the mouth and vanished without a trace.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                No kidding, I had it nice & strong until the motorcycle wreck (when I was 20). The kind of trauma that puts you out like that does a number on that youthful metabolism as well.

                Sigh…Report

              • For me it was 35, but … yeah.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq says:

                My adult metabolism hit in when I achieved voting age. Since I stopped growing at fifteen I guess that my body decided I did not need a kid’s metabolism anymore.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Man, I can see it considering you’re a compact model but that’s still dog.Report

            • Avatar KatherineMW says:

              Right. Pancakes take 10 minutes to half an hour, tops, depending on how many you want. Waffles take me about two hours. (Granted, that’s my grandma’s waffle recipe that involves separating the eggs, beating the egg whites, and making a special waffle sauce. Once you’ve had it, it’s really the only way to have waffles – but it’s not often worthwhile when you’re making waffles for one person.)Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            real waffles are made with yeast, and are most definitely not just pancakes.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Shouldn’t be more like you can have my blueberry pancakes when you rip them out of my stomach in a state or partial digestion?Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Same here. Same with pancakes with other fruits like bananas and strawberries.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Blueberries I get — bananas and strawberries sound like awful things. They’re toppings, not for in the pancake itself.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      Blueberry pancakes were a cafeteria staple at both of the colleges I attended, back in the 80s.Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    Pancakes! Pancakes!

    Dude, your new couple is WAY BEHIND. Crepes are the thing now.

    Damn reactionaries!Report

  3. Avatar Kim says:

    Meh. Have you seen how many recipes there are for spicing up beans?
    Ooodles and oodles and oodles of them.

    A pot of good fresh plump beans is a treasure that doesn’t need spicing up — just a splash of oil and plenty of salt.

    Of course, good luck finding fresh beans up North, they’re a homegrown delicacy.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    If you go to Maine, blueberries are traditional, which just futher proves that New England is always First in Liberalism.

    I’m not too upset over pancakes. Mess with my biscuits and someone is going to get hurt.Report

    • Avatar Adrian says:

      We all have our off-limits food, eh!Report

    • Avatar North says:

      That is because Maine, second only to Nova Scotia, is a generally superior source of blueberries.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        West Virginia has some alpine that makes fine blueberry fields.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Pennsylvanian quality blueberries? You’d have better luck convincing me that the gnomes of Zurich consult with you on national matters.Report

          • Avatar Kim says:

            I said West Virginia and I meant West Virginia.
            You check out the Dolly Sods and tell me they don’t remind you of Nova Scotia.

            We also have a fine microclimate near Erie which makes awesome blueberries.Report

            • Avatar Damon says:

              @kim @north

              Everyone knows huckleberrys are better than blueberries.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                @damon Madness! Someone go cut me a switch! I’m about to go all Charles Sumner in here!!Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                Bring it!

                *racks the slide*Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                I know no such thing sir.

                I disparage not the sour sweetness of a ripe huckleberry. But they are not the same thing as a plump juicy blueberry.Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                A good black raspberry for me.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Red mulberries, picked straight off the native tree. My folks had two trees at the back of the property. Too sweet to do much with by themselves, but great mixed with things that might otherwise be too tart. My mom swapped some of them with the woman up the street for cherries. Half mulberries, half cherries, no added sugar — outstanding pies.Report

              • Avatar Joe Sal says:

                Hellz yeah, ripe mulberries are the stuff.Report

              • Avatar Damon says:

                You, sir, are obviously delusional, misinformed, or a troll.

                Good huckleberries, picked from the slopes of mountains such as Rainier, St Helen’s (god bless her), and Adams are unequaled in the berry world, particularly those growing near the openings of lava tubes, which bring in the cold air from the higher slopes.

                Ah, the rich purple, nearing black, so ripe you could loose your soul starting into the depths of those luscious berries.Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

                This lapsed Catholic – practicing Lutheran cries Fie! on your disgusting blueberries. The only berry that belongs on a pancake is, of course, the lingonberry. Even the Coen brothers know that.

                https://youtu.be/w6_PtNRYhy0Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      What kinda biscuits do you like? Light fluffy? flaky?
      What’s your recipe?Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Not biscuits, per se, but a close cousin. My wife’s favorite birthday treat is strawberry shortcake, with the shortcake being sweetened biscuits (instead of the sponge cake they sell in the store), the whip cream made fresh, and the strawberries mixed with rhubarb and cooked down a bit on the stovetop.

      Much easier to make than a birthday cake.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Ya don’t need to sweeten the biscuits. the filling should be rich/sweet enough.
        But strawberry shortcake is an awesome treat.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        My wife’s favorite birthday treat is strawberry shortcake, with the shortcake being sweetened biscuits (instead of the sponge cake they sell in the store), the whip cream made fresh, and the strawberries mixed with rhubarb and cooked down a bit on the stovetop.

        That sounds great, but it doesn’t technically sound like strawberry shortcake. It sounds like strawberry-rhubarb shortcake.

        Also, while it’s fine to cook down some strawberries for strawberry shortcake topping (In fact, you should!), you also need to include some fresh pieces of strawberry on it. OR ELSE.Report

  5. Avatar Adrian says:

    Thesis: I like regular pancakes; that’s it. That was the entire point 🙂Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      That is foodism I can respect!Report

    • Avatar Francis says:

      Antithesis 1: We know. We’re teasing.

      Antithesis 2: what kind of self-righteous ignorant prig doesn’t know about the long history of fruit in breakfast cakes? Why, back in the early 1700s American housewives were writing about ….. 😉

      My waistline mandates that homemade pancakes are very rare, but in addition to blueberries I’ve been known to add a little bit of jalapeño.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        The only reason blueberries ain’t traditional is that we had sugar. Older recipes than pancakes have raisins as a sweetener (which is why I tend to loathe them in desserts. If you’re using sugar, leave the raisins out)Report

      • Avatar Adrian Rutt says:

        I am laughing pretty hard at these comments, I won’t lie… especially the debates!

        I will say, though, my anecdote was pretty objective. Pancakes are being assaulted. Specifically when someone asks for a pancake it is sometimes assumed that something should be in it. That’s my problem. The assumption of liberals. Makes my self-righteousness ignorance fume! 😉Report

  6. Avatar veronica d says:

    I’ve been known to add a little bit of jalapeño.

    Oh my stars!Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Gadzooks, it turns a sweet into a savory.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Loosen your grip on those pearls, dear lady. My lovely wife makes brownies with jalapeños and chipotle. (Chipotle being, of course, smoked jalapeños.) I can barely eat a standard brownie now, because I crave the warmth of the capsaicin admixed with the chocolate.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Objection, assuming facts not evidence. Absent a recording, there is no way to know if “oh my stars” was meant in a positive or negative way.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        Vosges makes a really delicious dark chocolate and chipotle candy bar. Expensive and hard to find, yes. I particularly like how a little goes a long way – I don’t have to eat a whole bar as a square or two does the trick for me.Report

  7. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Chocolate chip pancakes are perfectly acceptable fare, if you are under the age of 12.Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      Chocolate chip pancakes are awesome and I’m 31Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        I have friends like that. The calendar says they are in their 30’s, but they are still 12…

        😉Report

        • Avatar Dave says:

          @oscar-gordon

          Would you like to call me 12?

          😉Report

          • Avatar RTod says:

            There is no way you eat pancakes with chocolate. Dude, isn’t your entire diet lean meat veggies and protein powder?Report

            • Avatar Dave says:

              @rtod

              RTod:
              There is no way you eat pancakes with chocolate. Dude, isn’t your entire diet lean meat veggies and protein powder?

              Ha! Well, I was running something resembling a Paleo diet for a while, but once I found myself getting more and more into old school bodybuilding workouts, my diet had to change alongside it. Doing hypertrophy workouts in a glycogen-depleted state sucks, even in a caffeinated state.

              On training days, my macros are approximately 35% protein, 45% carbs and 20% fat. Most of them I consume between dinner and post workout (I work out at night). My food choices most of the time – small amount of fruit, a small sweet potato and oatmeal, which I have with dinner, pre and post workout meals.

              As far as my liking chocolate chip pancakes, my son likes them so I make them, and if he has any leftover, I’m not shy about taking a small bite or two. I don’t eat them as a regular meal.

              That said, don’t think I haven’t thought about substituting one of my oatmeal meals for some uncooked pancake batter. I don’t think it would be as filling and I don’t care for the added sugars.

              @oscar-gordon

              I’ll not be intimidated by your musculature! You are obviously 12!

              To be fair, considering that I’m 5’5″, I have to admit that there are 12 year olds taller than I am. I can’t say I like it either!!!Report

              • Avatar Kim says:

                Doing any workout in a glycogen depleted state sucks…dude.
                Try working out with someone with liver failure…Report

              • Avatar Dave says:

                Low intensity steady state cardio is manageable. It may be one of the few things that can be done reasonably well in that state without hitting a wall.

                I experimented with a protein sparing modified fast last year, and other than low volume maintenance lifting, walking on a stairmaster or inclined treadmill walking was one of the few things that didn’t make me feel like crap and burned a fair amount of calories.

                Disclaimer: I don’t recommend anyone try what I tried.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            I’ll not be intimidated by your musculature! You are obviously 12!

            (Besides, you are the way the hell over in New Jersey…)Report

          • Avatar North says:

            You ain’t fooling no one. The only carbs you consume are in your liquor.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      Pancakes are prepared using the “muffin method”.
      Chocolate chip muffins are delicious.
      Therefore, chocolate chips are fine in pancakes.Report

  8. Avatar Damon says:

    EVERYONE BOW DOWN TO MY FIAT.

    French Toast Panettone.

    It rocks. Plain and simple. (mixing a little almond extract with the egg wash makes it ever more rockin’.)Report

    • Avatar Francis says:

      If you’re insisting on respect for a car company whose name is an acronym for Feeble Italian Attempt at Transportation ..

      I want respect for my Fix Or Repair Daily Mustang (convertible, of course. I live in LA County).Report

  9. Avatar RTod says:

    I am OK with blueberries, but I am willing to forge a coalition with the anti-blueberry ranks if they will join me in my efforts to stamp out the scourge of beets from our society.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Have you ever had spring beets, smaller than your pinkie, and with beet greens?
      If not, you need to try ’em.Report

      • Avatar Joe Sal says:

        Lettuce doesn’t survive well in my area, so I use fresh beet leaf as lettuce on sandwiches.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          *blink* lettuce doesn’t survive well? Where the Hel are you?
          Have you tried “spring mix”? (that’s chard and rocket and a couple of other good greens, not actual lettuce at all)Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      Beets are fine so long as you cook them and mix them with other things so that you can’t tell that they’re in thereReport

      • Avatar DavidTC says:

        The best way to cook beets: Boil pasta, and then drain off the water into a pot. Cook the beets in the used water. Throw the water and beets away, eat the pasta.

        Another recipe: Take the beet juice and use it to draw on the boxes of microwave dinners. Then take the dinners out of the box, microwave them according to instructions, and eat them.

        An old folk recipe, requires some good aim: Take some uncooked beets and a sling into the woods. Use the beets to hunt a wild turkey. Eat the turkey.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Beets are awesome. Roast them up until they are soft, peel the skin off, eat them plain. Red, candy striped, or gold, don’t care, love them all.

      Also good pickled, or in a salad with gorgonzola.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      I am OK with blueberries, but I am willing to forge a coalition with the anti-blueberry ranks if they will join me in my efforts to stamp out the scourge of beets from our society.

      This.

      I keep telling people, when I see them purchasing beets, that their heart is in the right place of getting that off the store shelves so others will not accidentally think it is food and serve it to people, but that is simply not how the market works. If people would simply *stop buying* beets, that poison would eventually be removed from store shelves. (Well, or the FDA will eventually get off their asses and sue the beet producers for the various lies they tell the public, such as beets being ‘edible’.)

      And a lot of the time, when people buy beets to dispose of, the beets accidentally end up in the pantries anyway, where they can be accidentally given to people as if they are food. I help by throwing them them out whenever I see them, but there is only so much I can do.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      The entire Polish nation will mobilize against your Anti-Beet Alliance.Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      Though I am indiferent to pancakes, I shall pledge my shield to your anti beet coalition. They may plant their 13 thesis’, but we know it for the fairy tale it is.Report

  10. Avatar Adrian Rutt says:

    I suppose I can put my pancake radicalism aside and get on board with this.

    I was at the gym the other day, and my friend was drinking a Beet-infused pre-workout. It’s natural so it’s cool. It’s what cavemen drank before they would fist-fight woolly mammoths.Report

    • Avatar Dave says:

      @adrian-rutt

      I was at the gym the other day, and my friend was drinking a Beet-infused pre-workout.

      In other words, your friend killed his/her gains before he/she even started.Report

      • Avatar Adrian Rutt says:

        Indeed, that is what I told him.

        Just had to make sure we were talking about the same kinds of gains…as opposed to GAINZ!Report

        • Avatar Dave says:

          @adrian-rutt

          Just had to make sure we were talking about the same kinds of gains…as opposed to GAINZ!

          No Gainz! I want to see those people on YouTube in gym fail videos. They deserve it.

          Beet infused…better take an aromatase inhibitor with that. 😉Report

    • Avatar RTod says:

      When I first read this I completely missed the word “fight.” And i thought, “well that’s a pretty freaky thing to do with a wooly mammoth, but to each his own I guess.”Report

  11. Avatar Kazzy says:

    As I’ve written before, pancakes suck. But the very sucky IHOP chain has been selling a variety of pancakes for at least two decades.

    More importantly, food experimentation is a wonderful thing and should be embraced. It will undoubtedly yield failed outcomes, but the process is the only reason we aren’t still eating rocks (fact… look it up).Report

  12. Just so ya know, Jan 28 is National Blueberry Day.

    Blueberries resisted domestication. The first commercially grown blueberries were sold in NJ in 1916, exactly 100 years ago!!!!! and “blueberry fever” swept the region. I’m guessing people in the NE were putting blueberries in pretty much everything, pretty much right away.

    So does 100 years represent a recent challenge to tradition, or tradition itself. Perhaps that’s how we should define liberalism/conservatism.Report

  13. Avatar Stillwater says:

    This whole post is misguided. And UnAmerican. The pan cake – so-called in honor of the long-honored Greek god of blueberries and chocolate chips, much loved by real Americans – has been associated with flighty experimentation in US artesinal food stuffs throughout history. Lincoln’s wife Mary was famous for purchasing expensive Illinoisian berries (expensive because they were illegally imported from the South) for inclusion in Abe’s cakes during meetings with foreign dignitaries, including those from faraway places like the Confederacy. Jefferson’s notes reveal a cotton-based pan cake recipe which included fibers from naturally grown non-GMO “hemp” sprinkled with hand-picked mushrooms fried in butter. The historical record mentions this dish being served only once at an official function tho TJ’s head chef claims the meal was served daily as a form of both mental and physical sustenance. Andrew Carnegie is purported to have created an iron-ore-based pan cake served with yogurt and strawberries which John Rockefeller purchased for $432 million dollars. The list goes on and on.Report

  14. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    A great deal of this discussion reminds me (pleasantly) of Rex Stout’s Too Many Cooks and Nero Wolfe’s lecture “Contributions Américaines à la Haute Cuisine”, asserting the subtle superiority of American poultry that has been regularly fed fresh blueberries over anything available in Europe.Report

  15. Avatar j r says:

    I don’t really know what this post is about it, but it should most definitely be called “Food Progressivism…”Report

  16. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    A relation of mine who’s on a paleo diet makes “pancakes” out of eggs and banana.

    They’re edible, but they are not pancakes.Report

  17. Great writing style and tone, very enticing!

    I think you are right, society is changing. Everyone should have popcorn for breakfast, for goodness sake! Or, something of the sort.

    Ha, jokes.

    Keep up the great work, you are truly a great writer,
    NatashaReport