Recently, someone I know aired a grievance regarding banana pancakes and the horrid phenomenon of bananas actually being cooked into the pancake itself.
The person had just eaten “banana pancakes” from a pancake house and was advocating for the bananas to be cooked inside the pancake itself, rather than placed on top once the cooking process was complete. Then, the hypocrisy of chocolate chip pancakes having embedded chips, rather than lazily placed on top, was mentioned by the same individual.
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Pancakes are generally terrible. And if you disagree with me, you’re wrong. And that’s okay – nobody is perfect. But pancakes? They’re gross.
This was my reply:
Approximately a quarter of the weight of bananas are carbohydrates (which are easily burned!) so if you cook bananas inside a pancake, they will burn as the pancakes cook (so, you get a wannabe banana pancakes foster-thing?). Bananas also will turn very mushy once cooked, which is not a desirable texture. I would hypothesize that the “international” pancake place did market research and found that people preferred uncooked bananas to mushy, caramelized-ish bananas.
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This creates an interesting conundrum though. If we call bananas on top of a pancake “banana pancakes,” then by the same logic, we should find that “chocolate chip pancakes” have chocolate chips on top, rather than cooked inside it. However, that is clearly not the preferred method of chocolate chip pancake consumption as the chocolate chips would only be partially melted on top of the pancake, rather than having the desired texture of being viscous and gooey.
The ultimate problem here is where we decide to draw the line on intellectual honesty in the description of the pancake, or what we even define as “pancake” in the first place. It is inconsistent to call bananas on top of pancakes a “banana pancake” if we’re going to cook chocolate chips inside a pancake and call that a “chocolate chip pancake.”
This is similar to the incredibly enthralling debate regarding “banana ice cream.” While you can certainly add extra ingredients to it, the basic building block of banana ice cream is a banana that has been pureed, then frozen – no other ingredients are needed. You slice the banana, freeze it for a couple hours, then blend it until it has reached the proper consistency, then freeze the blended banana paste.
So it is completely disingenuous to call this product “banana ice cream” as there is no actual cream involved. In fact, I believe putting bananas in ice cream is incredibly disrespectful to real, actual ice cream.
However, I believe we refer to bananas on top of pancakes simply as “banana pancakes” as it is colloquially understood that the preferred method of ingestion for bananas with pancakes is on top of them (see paragraph 1), and refer to the abomination that is pureed frozen banana paste as “banana ice cream” to save time when describing it.
But more importantly, we should be having a discussion regarding the sad life choice of eating pancakes in the first place. The pancake itself should not exist as it is one of the most non-committal foods in the history of history. It is not a crepe, which are delicious, and it is not a cake, which is also delicious (though pie is almost always the preferred dessert item).
The crepe knows what it is; its purpose is to serve as a vessel of another product (preferably a sweet fruit of some kind [read: NOT bananas], ideally involving cream cheese/chocolate). The crepe doesn’t try to pretend to be its own food, unlike pancakes.
Cakes also know what they are. They are to be covered in frosting and served with ice cream (read: NOT “banana ice cream”). Some even eat cake on its own, without icing.
TLDR- The pancake is weak. It cannot make a commitment to what kind of food it is. It requires additional toppings to even have the remote possibility of being consumed. Just say “no.”
The backstory for this piece is that approximately 3 years ago, an individual at my former workplace sent an office-wide email complaining about pancakes. This came at a time when many people were sending many office-wide emails and many others would hit “reply all”, and make an attempt to be humorous.
NARRATOR: Almost none of them were humorous.
Some, including myself, had previously complained to management about the unnecessary mass emails and subsequent “reply all” emails. Management did not react. So I took it upon myself, on my own time, to compose this email response and hit “reply all”.
Within a week, non-supervisors were unable to send office-wide emails.
Now, I’m not saying I’m a #hero here. But the “reply all” button is a Weapon of Mass Destruction. And I believe that I put an end to its terrifying reign.
Additionally, I think it’s important that we’re able to have discussions and debates that are civil, and based in reason, as I did above (with my tongue firmly in my cheek the entire time). You are free to eat whatever gross breakfast food you want!