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I was reading a Moomin book (Comet in Moominland) recently and there was a part in which Moomintroll and Sniff fry up some pancakes for dinner (40). I don't know if these are normal pancakes or if they're meant for dinner, but if possible, could you give me the name of this type of pancake (if it is in fact a different type of pancake)?

  • What do you consider to be a 'normal pancake'? – Joe Aug 23 '16 at 1:45
  • Good point. Sorry, I had forgotten to say what that is. I am writing from an American perspective, so I would consider a normal pancake to be the kind generally associated with breakfast that are sweet, sometimes topped with maple syrup and butter, and are cooked on a griddle or skillet. – Morella Almånd Aug 23 '16 at 2:00
  • That's a decent description of them. Of course, there are multiple varieties of pancakes that would meet that description, and most of them Americans wouldn't consider to be 'pancakes'. See the link in my first comment. – Joe Aug 23 '16 at 2:23
  • Okay, thank you. I would consider a Flapjack to be what I'm referring to. – Morella Almånd Aug 23 '16 at 2:49
  • The American pancake is very unusual in Europe. It is not completely unknown, but it is never called simply "pancake", it is rarely made at home, and it would be very weird to mention in a children's book, as those tend to lean toward tradition. So whatever that pancake was (I don't know the Scandinavian traditions in detail, else I would write an answer) it won't be your pancake. – rumtscho Aug 23 '16 at 6:27
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Here's the original:

-Ole varovainen, sanoi Muumimamma Muumille tämän lähtiessä. -Tule pian takaisin, minä teen lettuja iltapalaksi.

Be careful, said Moominmamma to Moomintroll as he was leaving. Come back soon, I'm making lettu for an evening snack.

The Finnish lettu here is essentially the same as the French crepe. In Finland, they're typically eaten for dessert, in which case they're sweet and served with jam (always) and whipped cream (often), although there are also savoury variants that mix in spinach, blood (!), etc.

Also note that the word iltapala (literally "evening piece") is a bit ambiguous, but usually implies a snack, not a full-sized meal.

  • +1 and it was a Swede who told me his family also does savory versions :D... – Giorgio May 14 '17 at 13:18
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    Perhaps tea would capture some of the ambiguity of iltapala, by referring to either an afternoon light meal or a main evening meal. A late evening alternative might be supper – Chris H May 15 '17 at 11:52
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Surely it would be pannukakku, the custardy vanilla pancake that is oven baked. The basic formula per serving is 1/4 cup flour/1/4 cup milk/1 egg. It is eaten, and loved, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and paired with sweet or savory such as jam, berries, smoked fish, meat sauce.

Here an example from Kotikokki

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    Finn here: pannukakku is a dessert, period, and pairing it with anything savoury sounds strange in the extreme. Canonically, it's eaten on Thursdays after a main dish of pea soup. – lambshaanxy May 14 '17 at 2:21

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