A very distinctive local food, pancake is a treasured traditional staple dish for Linshu people in Shandong Province. There is a saying that the elders there are proud of: “Walking along the riverside with pancakes on your back, you are all set!” Going out of town for studying or traveling, Linshu people will always carry a pack of pancakes with them. Pancakes are delicious with a variety of spices and easy to store, too. One can enjoy the taste of hometown wherever he/she is.
The process of making Linshu pancakes is quite minute and time-consuming. The ingredients must be soaked one whole night in advance, and then be finely grinded with a stone mill. To bake the ground paste, one needs a traditional iron spatula.
In the eyes of Linshu people, any grain can be used to make pancakes, for example, millet, wheat, corn and sweet potato, etc. There are many ways to eat pancakes, too. One can roll them in anything at hand. The most classic and common way to eat pancakes, however, is to roll them with green onions. One might think that spring onion are spicy and thus unpleasant to eat rare. However, Shandong green onions are sweetie, especially when paired with bean paste, forming an umami flavor to the pancakes. Pancake roll with spring onion: a perfect match!
In the past, almost every household made pancakes as pancakes were people’s main food. Nowadays, almost every village has a professional pancake-maker. They use a motor-driven water mill to make the paste. A special pancake-making machine will do the baking. Pancakes are mass-produced today to meet the needs of urban and rural areas. However, Linshu locals still favor the hand-made pancakes due to their traditional taste and aroma which cannot be replaced by any machine-made ones.