8 Lesser Known Pancakes From Around The World

8 Lesser Known Pancakes From Around The World: Pancakes may just be the world’s universal breakfast. Every culture seems to have its version, from savory to sweet, from crepe-thin to satisfyingly thick. But what truly makes pancakes a global staple? It’s their versatility and the simple joy they bring to the table, making them a beloved choice for many.

1. Injera: Ethiopia’s Spongy Staple

Not Just a Pancake, But a Plate!

Injera isn’t just a side dish; it’s the base on which typical Ethiopian meals are served. Made from teff flour, which is gluten-free and rich in nutrients, injera has a slightly sour taste and a unique, spongy texture that’s perfect for scooping up stews and salads.

How It’s Made

Injera is cooked like a crepe and left to ferment slightly to achieve its distinctive flavor and texture. The result is a delicious, edible tablecloth that’s as functional as it is tasty.

2. Okonomiyaki: Japan’s Savory Surprise

A Flavorful Free-for-All

Okonomiyaki is often described as a Japanese savory pancake, made from a wheat-flour-based batter mixed with cabbage and various other ingredients such as seafood, pork, and wasabi, depending on personal preferences.

Cooking Up Customization

The name ‘okonomiyaki’ literally means ‘as you like it,’ highlighting the customizable nature of this dish. Topped with mayonnaise, a Worcestershire-like sauce, and bonito flakes, this pancake is a feast for the senses.

3. Jeon: Korea’s Pancake Delicacy

More Than Just a Snack

Jeon refers to a variety of Korean dishes made by seasoning whole or sliced ingredients with wheat flour and eggs, then pan-frying them. Ingredients can range from vegetables to seafood or meat, making jeon a versatile dish that can be served as a snack, appetizer, or a side dish.

Celebratory Cuisine

Traditionally, jeon is prepared for Korean festive holidays like Lunar New Year’s Day or Chuseok (mid-autumn festival).

4. Crêpes: France’s Thin Delight

Elegantly Simple

Crêpes are well-known around the world but often overshadow their regional specialties. These thin pancakes can be filled with everything from simple sugar and lemon juice to complex fillings like ratatouille or béchamel sauce with ham and cheese.

Sweet or Savory?

The versatility of crêpes allows them to be enjoyed as a dessert or a main dish, showcasing their ability to adapt to any taste preference.

5. Ployes: A French-Canadian Twist

Buckwheat Beauty

Popular in French-Canadian communities in the Upper Saint John River Valley, ployes are a type of pancake made primarily from buckwheat flour. Unlike other pancakes, they are only cooked on one side, leaving a unique texture that’s smooth on one side and dotted with holes on the other.

Serving Suggestions

Ployes are often served with creton, a type of pork spread, or simply with butter and maple syrup.

6. Aebleskiver: Denmark’s Ball-Shaped Treats

Not Your Flat Pancake

Aebleskiver are Danish snacks that are more spherical than flat. Made in a special stovetop pan with half-spherical molds, these treats are typically filled with apple slices, though modern variations might include sweet or savory fillings.

Perfect for Gatherings

Often served during Christmas time, aebleskiver are perfect for sharing and are traditionally accompanied by mulled wine.

7. Dosas: India’s Fermented Creations

Crispy and Light

Dosas are a staple in South Indian cuisine, made from a fermented batter of rice and black lentils. These thin, crispy pancakes are incredibly flavorful and are typically served with chutney and sambar.

Health Benefits

Not only are dosas delicious, but they are also rich in carbohydrates and contain no sugar or saturated fats.

8. Blini: Russia’s Buckwheat Pancakes

Rich in Tradition

Blini are thin, pancake-like treats made from buckwheat flour, giving them a distinctive flavor. They are traditionally topped with sour cream, smoked salmon, or caviar.

Cultural Significance

In Russian culture, blini are enjoyed during Maslenitsa, a weeklong celebration before the Lenten season.


Exploring the world of pancakes is a journey through global cultures and traditions. From the spongy injera of Ethiopia to the crispy dosas of South India, each pancake variety offers a unique glimpse into the culinary practices of different communities. So why not turn your next meal into an international pancake tasting?

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