The Humble Pancake

With Pancake Day nearly upon us, here at The Passage House Inn we thought we’d take a bit of time to pay homage to this most simple, yet delicious, of foods. As nearly everyone knows, legend has it that pancakes were invented as a way to use up leftover ingredients in the house ahead of a period of fasting. However, it has recently been proposed that those in the Stone Ages may have made some form of pancake using flour ground from ferns and cattails. Regardless of which of these is true, flour, eggs and milk are the staples of many a kitchen and their combination provides a versatile food, ready for any topping or customisation imaginable. But the humble pancake has come a long way from it’s thrifty, waste-prevention days.

These days, pancakes have become a positively luxurious food choice, found in even Michelin star establishments. From the fluffy, fat American version served with crispy bacon and maple syrup to the European delicate, almost transparent crepes, offered with tantalising combinations of sweet and savoury foods, there is a pancake to suit everyone. In France they make a wish before flipping their pancakes, in Australia they tend to be served cold with jam and cream (bit of a take on our cream tea perhaps?), in Sweden it is called Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) where they fill a round bun with marzipan and whipped cream and in Newfoundland (Canada) they bake objects with symbolic value into the pancakes. And here in England? It’ll come as no surprise to hear that we fully embrace this most scrumptious of days by using around 52 million eggs on Shrove Tuesday every year (an increase from 22 million on any other day)!

And here at The Passage House Inn you can be sure that we’ll be joining in tomorrow as we mix, cook and flip all day long! We’ll be offering a range of tantalising toppings for those of you that fancy a pancake or two but don’t have the resources to do it at home, or fancy pairing it with a cheeky pint! And don’t worry, if the savoury options don’t take your fancy, you can always choose what is arguably the nation’s favourite topping of lemon and sugar! So why not join us at The Passage House Inn in this centuries old tradition tomorrow as we mark the start of Lent in a most delicious way? Happy Pancake Day everyone!

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Steik!

Of all the themed nights that we have hosted here at The Passage House Inn, our Steak Night continues to be consistently our most popular. Steak and chips is one of those classic meals that is loved by so many of us. From rump, sirloin, t-bone or even tuna, with chips, new potatoes, rice or salad, with garlic mushrooms, grilled tomatoes or even mushy peas, there is a delicious variation of this beloved meal available for everyone. Such a simple concept but sometimes simplicity is the key!

One of the most unique things about steak is the recent tendency of many of us to eat it rare. According to a food history site, ‘the word “rare”, counterbalancing “done” describing the doneness of meat, descends from the word “rear”, meaning imperfectly cooked or underdone.’ An investigation into our love of rare steaks in The Independent agrees that historically, Britons thought that beef should be cooked entirely through until ‘well done’. The recent trend of rare meat has only occurred over the last 30 years and according to the founder of London steakhouse, Hawksmoor, it is due to ‘the more general shift from food as fuel to food for pleasure.’ That certainly makes sense, I think most of us would agree that a steak with some degree of pinkness running through it is much tastier than a tough bit of meat cooked until it resembles leather! Ironically though, according to legend, the word ‘steak’ is derived from a Norse or Saxon word ‘steik’ which means meat on stick and I imagine the Vikings wouldn’t have been too fussy about the colour of the meat they were consuming!

Luckily, we have long since moved on from serving our slabs of meat on sticks and now offer them with a range of delicious accompaniments. Here at The Passage House Inn in Topsham, we have recently updated our Steak Night to make it a more attractive, flexible option for everyone. Now, every Wednesday night we are offering a succulent 8oz rump steak served with chips, tomato, mushroom, peas and onion rings for an amazing £8.95! Steak upgrades are available and each week we’ll have a special offer bottle of wine for £10 to accompany your meal. Sounds irrestible right?! So why not join us next Wednesday and enjoy a delicious steak, cooked to perfection with good friends and a glass of red, down by the river in beautiful Topsham! To book a table, just give us a call on 01392 873 653!

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