Fin lives in California's Central Valley. He enjoys writing food reviews.
Storied History of Pancakes
Pancakes have been around in some form or another for thousands of years. According to National Geographic, "The ancient Greeks and Romans ate pancakes, sweetened with honey; the Elizabethans ate them flavored with spices, rosewater, sherry, and apples."
They may have been around in some form or another in prehistoric times. The Iceman that was found in the 1990s was discovered to have contents of pancakes in his stomach.
They are enjoyed in many different ways in modern America. Butter and syrup are the most popular toppings. Some people like to use whipped cream and fruit. Variations of the pancake—especially crepes—can be found at specialty restaurants whose sole focus is this treat.
Signature Select (Safeway)
1. Hungry Jack
Well with a name like Hungry Jack you would expect that these are some satisfying specimens. The kind of flapjack you could find a good old country kitchen.
Let's say, not quite.
First of all, they are much smaller (in diameter) and thinner than one would expect. The cakes have the texture of pressed rubber and just about the taste.
When I eat a pancake, I anticipate a thick fluffiness full of flavor.
Not quite what I had been looking forward to, unfortunately. They really were not that bad, but I don't think you could get away serving these portions in a fast food restaurant without people making references to the 99-cent menu (that no longer is).
The butter slides ride off and the surface seems to have an aversion to syrup. Two qualities I like in my cakes is that they have a sponge-like quality to them, which these certainly do not.
But they do fill you up and hit the spot when you are craving something to fill that empty morning stomach with.
Overall Rating: 7
2. Belgian Boys
One thing to be said about these, they do indeed come out fluffy. They are a bit sweet as well which gives them an almost carnival flair. They are almost like little crepes.
As far as filling, the suggested serving of 9 cakes is just about right. They are filling. They do have a bit of an airy texture and even with the butter and syrup, a slightly bland taste.
Their story is somewhat interesting in that they were founded by two European men who came to New York City and tasted the variety of foods and pastries and wanted to create something similar. I'm not sure if it is true or not, a bit cliche at best.
Would I recommend them? They are not bad and if you have children, the size will definitely appeal to their nature. Would I buy them again as a breakfast staple?
Honestly, probably not.
I did not find them that satisfying overall and they are rather expensive for the amount of food you get: 36 pancakes, which is four servings. They are not bad, I just prefer a different sort of cakes.
However, I am sure they will find an audience. If you like the semi-crusty texture of crepes on the exterior and a fluffy interior. These are game. Give them a try.
Overall Rating: 7.5
Pancakes have been around for centuries and are a staple in many cultures. Experts (pancakes experts?) believe that people enjoyed pancakes as far back as 30,000 years ago during the Stone Age. In fact, researchers found pancakes in the stomach of Ötzi the Iceman, famous human remains that date back more than 5,000 years!
— Kate's Kitchen, "History of Pancakes"
3. Kellogg's Eggo
Kellogg's may be one of the better-known brands that is featured in this review. Formed in 1906 in Battle Creek, Michigan, the Kellogg's company has been synonymous with breakfast. Initially the company was known for Corn Flakes, and eventually items such as pancakes and waffles were introduced in the 1970s.
First of all, I should say that these actually looked like pancakes. The small holes through the bottom surface resembled the air bubbles you see when the flapjacks are heating on the griddle. The cakes are presented with an airy fluffiness that adds to the authentic flavor.
These are definitely the closest you will get to freshly prepared from a frozen variety.
Overall Rating: 9.5
4. Signature Select (Safeway)
Well, to start off with, when I opened the package, I detected a heavy aroma pungent enough to give me an idea of what to expect from these little flying saucer–shaped breakfast items...
It took me a couple of extra presses of the microwave buttons in order to get them cooked, as well.
If you like placing doormats in your mouth, these are for you. However, it should be noted that they did look like thicker versions of an ideal pancake.
A little difficult to cut through with a fork unless you had the assistance of a knife.
Overall Rating: 7
Well, these are probably pretty much as close to authentic pancakes that I have had in a while. Even the bottom edge of the cake has the tiny bubbles in it you see when you cook them on a grill.
The cakes have a nice texture and are slightly crisp and smooth on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.
They come in slightly larger portions: 18 as opposed to the 12 that you get in most of the samples. The packaging is very simplified and storing them in your freezer isn't an issue.
As with most frozen products, they are not perfect: cooking them in the microwave affects their turnout in a way that your taste buds recognize the preservatives.
However, they make a good, inexpensive breakfast treat.
Overall Rating: 8
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Finn