A Life in Pancakes: Pancakes in Africa

Pancakes in Africa were amazing. Like, really, really AMAZING. Africa is an absolute hotbed of pancake diversity. Anything and everything is considered suitable to roll into a pancake. Truly an eye-opening and life-changing experience..

1. I fist tried cinnamon sugar pancakes at a church function in 2008. I was very reluctant, but the smell itself convinced me that this was in fact, the way forward. It’s very simple to mix a little cinnamon into some sugar, so I can’t understand why the rest of the world hasn’t caught on to this yet.

2. My favourite place to eat cinnamon pancakes is in Pilanesburg National Park. The restaurant in the middle of the reserve allows to you eat two cinnamon pancakes with either cream or ice cream, surrounded by hornbills, monkeys, go-away birds, giraffes, warthogs, etc and all for just R12. And you get the wasps for free!

3. The above restaurant has the best pancake eating atmosphere imaginable, but terribly questionable service and quality. It takes a great deal wrong for me to send something back to the kitchen, but this place manages it regularly. Pancakes are often raw to the point of oozing batter or they don’t come with lemons. Explaining these things always involves taking a walk, because the table service is non-existent . But it’s still a winning situation. The longer you sit and wait, the longer you get to be there…

4. There’s a place at Hartebeespoort Dam called ‘Pick-a-Pancake’. It’s in the middle of a dusty, touristy market and they will put anything on a pancake. The place is love.

5. Pick-a-Pancake even makes a biltong pancake, which is only unfortunate insofar as I once had to watch a friend eat one. This pancake happens when one sprinkles raw, dried shavings of kudu and warthog onto a pancake. Not quite right, but if it brings someone joy…

6. On the flipside, the worst pancakes in Africa come from a chain of sickly ice cream shops called ‘Milky Lane’. Here, the pancakes are sugary and plasticy and the toppings are not right. On the plus side, Milky Lane for me holds lots of fantastic memories of small children doing very fun things with food- like wearing an ice cream cone, or mixing Smarties and chocolate ice cream and bits of waffle into a bright green glass of cream soda. LOVE.

7. My favourite pancake eating experience was probably Christmas 2008, when a friend had been sent some genuine American Blueberry Pancake mix from the USA. Our pancakes were topped with icing sugar. Happy happy happy…

8. I met and made a lifelong friend at Skukuza Camp in Kruger, when the two of us were trying to outbid each other on some maple syrup in a silent auction.

9. The best place I’ve ever cooked pancakes is definitely at a campsite at Addo Elephant Park.

Next up: Pancakes of Today…

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