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johnny cakes?? what are they & where can i get some?

  • j

I was watching the Sopranos last night and there was a scene in a New Hampshire diner where Johnny Cakes were ordered. What is this delicacy?? Are they sold locally??

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  1. They're white-cornmeal pancakes, though the only place I know that serves them is Dupar's and I haven't been in years.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek
      Silverlake Bodhisattva

      They appear to be gone from the Dupar's menu, at least on-line.

      Anyone else got a local source? Isn't the giant pancake-thingy at the Pines in Palmdale cornmeal-based?

    2. The Horseless Carriage (at Galpin Ford) used to serve really good yellow cornmeal pancakes. All the breakfasts were good there, and so was the service and the prices. Hmm. Anyway, I wonder if yellow cornmeal pancakes are like Johnnycakes.

      1. I'm assuming this is a Sopranos food reference?

        Link: http://bread.allrecipes.com/az/Johnny...

        1. I can't remember what they're called, but IHop has these pancakes that are made with Cream of Wheat and are sort of like Johnny Cakes, but I think better, sweeter. Try those!

          1. The originals weren't exactly delicate taste treats, but basically cornmeal mixed with boiling water and fried in grease. Subsistence grub. I gather now they're just cornmeal pancakes; I would've expected IHOP to have some, but those Cream of Wheat things sound vile...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              Will, my wife calls that hot water corn bread.

              1. re: JB

                Yup, that's what it is all right. In New England, they were wrapped up and put into a travelling pouch, to be eaten cold along the way. "Journey cakes" = "Johnny cakes". At least that's the story I read.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  I like food for the masses –Tortillas, Knishes, Matzo balls, Pancakes, Rice, Corn Bread... I found a story like the one you know (link below) about “Corn Bread” that talks about “regional names” including , journey cake, Shawnee cake = johnnycakes ...

                  Are these thick or thin? Know any local places that makes-um the way you know it to be? Sounds great served hot with butter on top.

                  Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_cake

            2. s
              Silverlake Bodhisattva

              Dish in La Canada has 'em on menu, even call'em that!


              1. The Original Pancake Houses have cormeal pancakes. They call them Nebraska Corn Cakes. I can personally vouch for the ones in the Anaheim location -- Lincoln west of State College Blvd.

                Original Pancake House
                1418 E Lincoln Ave
                Anaheim, CA 92805
                (714) 535-9815

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dorothy

                  A great rec. Also must try the 49/er Flap Jacks, crispy Potato Pancakes, and oh those Blueberry, The Buttermilk....

                  The only problem is the long line of people but it is worth the wait. Better yet just be early. Also, they are not open for dinner -- too bad.

                  Original Pancake House
                  Yorba Linda
                  18453 Yorba Linda Boulevard
                  Yorba Linda, California 92686

                  Original Pancake House
                  1418 East Lincoln Avenue
                  Anaheim, California 92805

                  Original Pancake House
                  1756 South Pacific Coast Hwy.
                  Redondo Beach, California 90277

                  Link: http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/

                2. n
                  Never Misses A Meal

                  Great question! And, my follow up question is whether Vito will ever taste them again!

                  1. I've been looking for the type of johnnycakes that Nibbler's in Beverly Hills used to serve with apricot syrup. They were large (plate-sized), thin, and tender. All the searching I've done turns up "cornmeal" pancakes and I don't know if they're what was served at Nibbler's? Does anyone know where the type I'm describing can be found in LA. (I don't like the regular type of pancakes because they're so filling!)

                    1. Wow, that's so odd. The Johhny cakes I remember from living back in Georgia and from friends northern-east weren't pancakes at all. In fact, I can remember a lovable ol biddly laughing and snorting at the idea of johhny cakes as a pancake like thing.

                      I think the name actually evolved from "Journey Cakes". The Johnny cakes I remember were about dollar pancake or biscuit diameter-wise, but were thick. Not as thick as a biscuit, not as thin as a pancake. They were corn meal, but not too fluffy...sort of like drier, grittier corn bread muffins, but not quite. They were originally for men who were out walking west, hunting or the like. A kinda thing to put in the satchell and keep to eat on the journey. Like hardtack or, but closer to a corn dodger. Only nicer.

                      Why the heck are people making cornmeal pancakes and calling them Johnny Cakes?

                      1. If "hot water corn bread" is the same thing, I know the Roscoe's on Gower serves this on select days of the week. I had it once and was not impressed.

                        1. Quoting from the back of a box of Kenyon's Johnny Cake Corn Meal (from Usquepaugh, Rhode Island):

                          "The earliest American settlers, arriving to this new land, discovered corn and were taught by the Indians how to grow, grind, and cook this unfamiliar grain. The original Johnny Cakes were a mixture of water and corn meal spread thin and cooked before an open fire..."

                          I imagine the name itself is generic, since there are many pancake-biscuit-arepa-like things in the Caribbean Basin that are called johnnycakes/johnny cakes. I was told (in Bocas del Toro, Panama) that they were an early staple of sailing days and that no one knew their origin.

                          Oh yeah - I tried out the recipe on the box. It's just white corn meal w/ a little sugar, salt and boiling water. I'll take pancakes any day. Of course, the box goes on to suggest that I "serve them under (my) favorite newburg, creamed chipped beef, creamed cod, or as dumplings in stew." Who's hungry?! C'mon!

                          1. Aunt Gussies in Altadena used to give em free with any order - unfortunately they are long gone.