Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Will there ever be a world flapjack day?

I've hit an obstacle: Belinda tells me that in Australia the word flapjack has nothing to do with oats: it is merely a synonym for 'pancake'.

I didn't realise how strong my cultural prejudices are. I thought the concept of oats baked with butter and syrup was so simple as to be universal (as I write this I realise that without Columbus we in England would not been missing a rather crucial ingredient).

What is the nearest French/Russian/Hungarian/Ghanaian equivelant to a flapjack? I find it hard enough to find a freshly baked flapjack in London, what chance would I have in Adelaide or Lagos?

A further blow to my preconceptions has been dealt by Martin on my left here: apparently the original application of the word flapjack is from the New England states of America, and does indeed refer to a pancakefried on a griddle. Jack was then a common workd for 'thing' and flapjack meant a thing that was flipped. Our present biscuity use of the term originated in England in the 1930s.

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