Pancake eating experts

Farm Forum

For several years now I have been researching the manner in which people prepare and eat their morning pancakes.

From the big back booth at the cafŽ where we early risers gather each morning to discuss and solve world problems, I’ve been able to observe a variety of pancake aficionados.

I’ve discovered that no two individuals prepare and eat their pancake the same way.

Variety is the spice of the pancake’s short life, I’ve concluded.

My study, accomplished without a federal grant, by the way, has been limited to two pancake-related categories.

First, I’ve studied how people apply syrup to the cake.

Secondly, I’ve studied how people actually begin the process of consuming a pancake, and how they break into the carcass for the first time.

You may recognize one of your friends from the descriptive categories I’ve developed.

Applying syrup is an important first step. There is a “sop factor” that is required, but is a personal thing so no two people have the same sop factor.

Some folks inundate their pancake using a clockwise, circular motion to draw spirals, beginning at the outside edge of the cake and working inward. There is also the inverted spiral method, starting at the center and working out.

This clockwise style has been observed only in the northern hemisphere. Perhaps a study of this circular method can be done in the southern hemisphere to determine if the laws of gravity are at work.

Another syrup sopping method is the “Zorro” stroke, where the pancake eater mercilessly slashes a huge “Z” of syrup across the cake.

The other sopping method is to just pour it on until syrup edges out to the rim of the plate. Some people like to lift the pancake up with their fork and pour the syrup directly on to the plate, then settle their cake down in this bed of goo.

One of the most creative methods of applying syrup is the trap door system. With the butter knife, three sides of a postage stamp-sized square are cut into the middle of the cake. With a fork, the “U” shape door is opened and syrup is poured to fill the hole and then the pancake door is closed.

I’ve found that the “spiral” approach is the most esthetic, but at 5 a.m. who really cares.

The actually cutting up and eating the pancake was the second part of my study.

The most common method is to just roll the fork over part of the edge of the cake and pull it loose. The more meticulous among us cut out little wedges as you would cut a piece of pie.

The bites of pancake in the beginning are triangular in shape. As the cake size diminishes, most pancake eaters gravitate to cutting square shaped chunks.

Preparing and eating a pancake is a morning country ritual that brings out the creativity in all of us.

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