Is The British Crumpet A Breakfast Dish Or Teatime Snack?
Image Credit: English crumpet

What would you expect when you head out for a proper English breakfast on a bright sunny day? A fried egg, bacon strips, sausages, toast, baked beans, charred tomatoes and the English muffin, at times. Did pancakes come to your mind even once all this while? Looks like you’re unaware of the crumpet then. For the unversed, a crumpet is a griddle cake that emerged in 17th century Britain as thin pancakes but was popularized in the Victorian era as spongy cakes. 

The tweaks and slight modifications, or rather addition of baking powder and yeast to the batter led to the present-day crumpet’s shape, texture and taste. The dish gets its name from the way in which it is made, the edges are curled up as the hot batter is poured on a griddle. This is referred to as crump or crumple in English language and therefore, the dish gets its name crumpet. 

This griddle cake is often confused as a breakfast dish but is actually a teatime snack. The snack is savoured with a cup of hot tea in the evenings in the English households. In fact, some have gone on to compare it to the English muffin but the two are just not the same. In case of the crumpet, one side of the cake is left uncooked as opposed to the muffin which is baked on all sides. The former is cooked from one side and the other side has a honeycomb like texture that is toasted and filled with butter before serving. 

The soft and moist upper side is a great contrast to the toasted crust at the base. This makes the appearance and taste of the cake quite distinct from other teatime cakes. Not just butter, a pinch of salt also sprinkled on the crumpet at times before serving and it can be topped with poached egg, bacon or flavoured with syrups, honey and jam too.