[Sca-cooks] flapjack question

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Thu May 10 16:11:18 PDT 2007

The term "flapjack" dates from around 1600 and is used synonomously with 
pancake.  However, without a description, it is difficult to say how closely 
the flapjack resembles its modern counterpart.

IIRC, the Hymn to Ninkasi, Sumerian dating from around 3500 BCE, describes 
making flat bread from barley meal, honey, and (probably) water.  The 
ancient Irish produced flat cakes from wheat grains (softened in milk) and 
honey.  It would not surprise me to find pan or hearth breads made from oats 
(or oat meal), honey and butter (or some other fat), but the available 
recipes tend to be OP and mostly omit sweetners, which seem to appear in the 
more modern recipes.

For a little reference on oats and oatcakes, here's a quote from Gerard,

"Avena Vesca. Common Otes.
...is vsed in many countries to make sundry sorts of bread; as in 
Lancashire, where it is their chiefest bread corne for Iannocks, Hauer 
cakes, Tharffe cakes, and those which are called generally Oten cakes; and 
for the most part they call the graine Hauer, whereof they do likewise make 
drink for want of Barley."

If you go looking for recipes, try janock and haver cake.


> While in England last week my consort introduced me to "proper English
> flapjack" which is apparently oats, butter, and sweetener, cooked together
> briefly and then baked.
> Our annual event out in the Black Hills is next weekend, and he wants to
> bring some, but we're doing a period camp, so it has to be documentable.
> I don't know of anything like it in the 13th-15th c. corpus, but I don't
> know the later stuff at all to say yea or nay. Does anyone have a
> direction to point me in?
> Margaret FitzWilliam

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