Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Today I ran into the term "pikelets" describing a food item in a Pamela Allen book I was reading to chiquitita #2. I never heard or read it before, so I looked it up. Apparently it's the Australian term for something the British call a drop scone, another food item of which I've not heard. Another word which has been tossed around in the definitions I've read is "crumpet", to which pikelets and drop scones can be compared, and with which they both have similarities. Alas, I also have no idea what a crumpet is, although I have heard of them.

Now from the pictures in google image search, it looks to me like a crumpet looks like a sort of cross between what we call a pancake and what we call an English muffin, but leaning toward the pancake. Of course the wiki definition for pikelet also calls it a "Scottish pancake".

Wiki says in the U.S., pancakes can be referred to as hotcakes, griddlecakes, or flapjacks, all terms with which I am familiar. It goes on to point out that the difference between American and British or Australian pancakes is that we Americans use a raising agent (usually baking powder), while Brits and Aussies don't, so American pancakes are thicker/fatter, while the Commonwealth pancakes are thinner/flatter. This is why Megan tends to tell our girls that we are having, depending on the day, "funny", or "fat" "American" pancakes.

Moreover, says wiki, the American topping of choice is maple syrup, and they are served mainly at breakfast. In Australia, on the other hand, they can be topped with lemon and sugar, or they can be wrapped around savory ingredients and served as a main course.

Apparently the Scottish/Irish variation, called pancakes, drop scones or girdle cakes in those two countries but known elsewhere as Scottish or Scots, add sugar to the eggs, milk, and self raising flour of the American variation, The Irish ones apparently opt for buttermilk.

So having gone through all that, I learned that pikelets are known in this country as silver dollar pancakes, and the chief difference between them and "regular" pancakes (if one can any longer use such a term) is their diminutive size--they are about 3 inches across. Now next time I make pancakes, I shall have to make them quite small and serve them up as pikelets, an Australian treat! goody.


Sam said...

pikelets are like hot cakes really. although you generally have them cold (you can heat them up though) and have them with jam and cream. there kind of an doily-type afternoon tea thing.

mmmm crumpets you have with honey on after toasting them. i'd forgotten about them actually! we used to have them of a sunday evening when it was 'get your own' dinner!

Megs said...

ohhhh darling, i can't imagine a world without crumpets!! Next time somebody comes to us from Australia or England, please DO bring some crumpets, and we can introduce Bens. YOu see, darling, crumpets are filled with holes, into which the honey or golden syrup, as it melts, SLIIIIIIDES... OOOOOOOH! YUM!!!!!!!!