Stop! Grammar Time! Flapjacks vs. Pancakes

I’m sitting in a hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana (long story as to why) at the moment, and I noticed that the room service menu uses a term I haven’t seen in quite some time:

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“Flapjacks.”

Where I’m from, we call them pancakes. Just about everywhere I’ve ever been, and everywhere everyone I’ve ever known is from or has been, they are known as pancakes. Is there actually a difference between a flapjack and a pancake?

Not according to the Northwest Flapjack Society. Nor according to Epicurean.com. Nor the Academy of Food blog.

On the other hand, here’s what Kimberly L. Jackson at NJ.com had to say:

What’s the difference between a pancake and a flapjack? If you ask Joel Clark, founder of Baker Mills in Utah, flapjacks were the original “pan cakes”, but a hearty wholesome version cooked up by frontiersmen who made use of the whole-grain wheat and oats that were common in the days before food was processed and “refined.”

And here’s what a user by the name of VelvetRose said on Yahoo! Answers:

They are all more or less similar but not the same. Flapjack will be a little bit thicker and have bubbles as in American version of pancakes. However a British pancake tends to be thinner than other pancakes-almost like crepes but not as dry. I cook all three.

Added note: There is another kind of flapjack that is like a slice of crumbly cake.

I guess the debate will rage on. I think they’re the same thing.

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One thought on “Stop! Grammar Time! Flapjacks vs. Pancakes

  1. Being from the rural and lost parts of Louisiana wandering in a Texas wilderness for a season or two – I just had a discussion with someone today between these two – flap jacks and pancakes – they are different. Flap jacks are a simple batter cooked in an iron skillet with about a 1/4″-1/2″ of vegetable oil. Where as the pancakes are thin, cooked usually in butter, and soft. The flap jack will have a thick dense bite to it and will be crunchy on the outside and soft inside while the pancake remains soft. Correlate a soft shell taco to a chalupa at Taco Bell. Same in theory but different in texture and fulfillment. Especially when made correctly – right thickness, right temp of oil, freshness.. Though plain molasses is usually the topping of choice – peanut butter and jelly mixed together and used as a dip is what really speaks to my childhood memories and soul. I wish I could taste my mawmaw’s one more time as an adult to savory the memories being made with crooked hands from years of farm labor with the dim oil lanterns, creak of the wooden floors, snapping and power of the pilot on the gas stove, smell of the flour mixed with the old metal kettle of coffee all encompassed with the wind on the wooden walls and the babble of adults on their matters. Flap jacks and pan cakes – more than difference grammar..

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