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What a strange thing pancakes are. (Or crepes, if you prefer). You think you know them, and then you find you don’t. Food historians tell us that pancakes go all the way back to prehistoric times, when they were probably the first cereal diet – grains had not been cooked and eaten before then. As with so many things, it makes you wonder – who had the idea? Who thought, “Let’s grind up these seeds, and then cook the flour in some oil we’ll squeeze out of the fruit of those wild olive trees”? When you put it in those terms, it somehow seems less likely – still, that’s what we’re told by the people who study these things.

Pancakes are flat. They’re often thin – but not always, because Americans put a raising agent into the mix and that makes them puff up. (The Scots do the same, but in their case they call it a drop scone and not a pancake). The shape is round, but that’s because of the way they’re made – take a cupful of dough and pour it onto a hot griddle and it will spread out in a circle.

In Britain and many Commonwealth countries, pancakes were made at the beginning of Lent to use up whatever was left over before the fasting began that would not end until Easter – hard to imagine what must have got into some of those pancakes. Although not much fasting goes on now, the pancake tradition continues on Shrove Tuesday at the beginning of Lent. In Canada they smother them in maple syrup and eat them for breakfast; in France they’re filled with any of a number of sweet or savoury fillings and eaten for lunch or at any old time of day; in Eastern Europe they roll them round jam or cream cheese or nuts or…well, the sky’s the limit, really.

And in Cyprus – in Cyprus we have kattimeri. Kattimeri take time to make, though (like any pancake) they don’t take long to eat, and the Cyprus tradition is for everyone to gather in the kitchen while they’re being made. By “everyone,” we mean grandparents, parents, children – it’s a family occasion. A time for conversation, for reminiscence, and for wonderings about the future – but, most of all, a time to get together and feel that warmth that comes from being part of a loving family – and from having a full stomach.

You might very possibly think of the dough used in kattimeri as a bread dough. Cinnamon is a favourite addition, because in Cyprus we add cinnamon to almost anything. They’re not difficult to make, though to do it properly you really need some kitchen equipment that you almost certainly don’t have – a marzatzi for making the dough and a satzi which may be the strangest looking pan you ever set eyes on.

But you don’t have to worry about that, because we have kattimeri, and you have us.

Don’t forget the lemon juice!

Company Info

Contact Person: Nikos Andrea
Mailing Address: Koniele Trading LTD,
Evagorou 6, Dromolaxia, Cyprus 7020
Call/Text: 00 357 97 884776
Company Reg. No: HE343968