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Alita Dolcia, the grandmother of pancakes

Food is one of the main prerequisites for life. Since the beginning of civilization, food has played a central role in cultural patterns. Sharing a meal has always had a mystical, religious, constitutive role in every community. The biblical story of man’s original sin has food (the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) as the central motif. There are always interesting stories about food in ancient times and civilizations.

Ancient Greece and Rome as one of the cradles of modern Western civilization can provide us with many interesting stories about food. For the ordinary Roman, ientaculum was breakfast, served at daybreak. A small lunch, prandium, was eaten at around 11 AM. The cena was the main meal of the day. They may have eaten a late supper called vesperna. The daily circle was organized by these meals which were served at a certain time.

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What to say about ancient Greece? Suffice it to say that one of the most famous works of the famous philosopher Plato is called the Symposium, a „party“ with drinks and food, on which various topics were discussed. Such events had one of the central places in the cultural life of the ancient Greeks.

We do not intend here to deal with the history of food in this period, but to mention one interesting dish that we can say is the ancestor of today’s pancakes. What do you think, that we are the only gourmands who love delicious treats? Well, you are wrong.

The Greeks were eating and preparing their meals simply. Nevertheless, they fancied eating something sweet. So this recipe for Greek pancakes called Itria came to us. They were served in breaks of theater performances as a kind of snack. The theater also played a very important role among the Greeks. Many famous Greek dramas are still the basis of world literature

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And what could have complemented the event better than some tasty candy? The topping of Itria was honey and everything was sprinkled with sesame. Around the theater, there was always a stand where they would bake these pancakes. The spectators would buy and eat these delicious dishes. The Romans took the recipe and called them “Alita Dolcia” – “something sweet”.

They were made from milk, flour, eggs, and spices and were very similar to pancakes. Some Alita Dolcia were sweetened with honey or fruits while others were savory bread filled with meats and cheeses.  Alita Dolcia wasn’t a food for everyone! The recipe was only served at the meals of nobles during their elite dinners.

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Of course, modern pancakes are different from those of that time, but this delicacy has its roots far back in history. Pancakes have taken many forms all over the world. The mere naming of pancakes makes us drool and desire. They are an indispensable part of any Sunday brunch. Pancake is popular all over the world under various names, sizes and flavours, but despite of what you call them they are flat cakes made of starchy batter cooked on a hot griddle or pan.

 

We will not suggest anything to you. Just stop by in one of our locations or order home delivery and enjoyment in homemade pancakes served with whipped cream, maple syrup and topping of your choice can begin.

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