Palatschinke or palacsinta is a thin crêpe-like variety of pancake of Greco-Roman[1] origin, while it's most common in South and West slavic countries, its also generally known in other parts of Central and Eastern Europe.

Pfannkuchen mit Zucker.jpg
Ordinary palatschinke, sprinkled with sugar
Alternative namesPalačinka, palacinka, palacsinta, clătite
Place of originRoman Empire
Main ingredientseggs, wheat flour, milk

Names of the dish include Palaçinka (Albanian), Palatschinke (pl. Palatschinken) (Austrian German), palačinka / палачинка (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Serbian, Slovene, Montenegrin, Macedonian), naleśnik (Polish), clătite (Romanian), palacinka (Slovak, Italian) and palacsinta (Hungarian).


Gundel Palacsinta filled with walnuts and chocolate sauce
Hortobágyi palacsinta filled with meat, served in Sopron, Hungary

Central European Palatschinke (palačeke) are thin pancakes similar to the French crêpe. The main difference between the French and Central European version of the dish is that the mixture for palatschinken can be used straight away unlike that of crepes which is suggested to be left at rest for several hours. Palatschinken are made by creating a runny dough from eggs, wheat flour, milk, and salt and frying it in a pan with butter or oil. Unlike thicker types of pancakes, palatschinken are usually served with different types of fillings and eaten for lunch or dinner.

Palatschinken are traditionally rolled with apricot, strawberry,[2] or plum jam, and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. A variety of fruit sauces (like apple sauce), or thick fruit jams called lekvar (plum, prune, raspberry, cherry or sour cherry jam), lemon juice and sugar, chocolate sauce, hazelnut-chocolate cream (Nutella), almonds, dried or fresh fruits, sweet cottage or quark cheese and raisins, cocoa powder, poppy seed, or any combination thereof, may also be used. Rakott palacsinta are layered pancakes with sweet cottage cheese and raisins, jam and walnut layers between the pancakes, baked in the oven, comparable to the French mille crêpes.[3]

A well known Hungarian version of palatschinke is the Gundel pancake (Gundel palacsinta), made with ground walnuts, raisin, candied orange peel, cinnamon, and rum filling, served flambéed in dark chocolate sauce made with egg yolks, heavy cream, and cocoa.

Palatschinken may also be eaten unsweetened as a main course, such as a meat-filled Hortobágyi palacsinta. They may also be eaten plain, filled with cheeses, or vegetables such as mushroom, spinach or sauerkraut, topped with sour cream, or cut into thin strips, called Flädle in Germany′s and Switzerland's Alemannic dialects and Frittaten in Austria. Flädle/Frittaten are used in Frittaten soup - pancake strips served in clear broth.

Etymology and historyEdit

The dish is of Greco-Roman origin[1]. In 350 BC two Greek poets first mentioned plakous[1]. Cato the Elder's short work On Farming from about 150 BC includes an elaborate recipe for placenta[1]. Palatschinke still bears the same name of its Greek and Roman ancestors.[1]

The origin of the name comes from the Latin word placenta (a flat cake). The name of the dish has followed a track of borrowing across several languages of central and south-eastern Europe. The dish originates from the Roman era of Central Europe and the Austrian-German term Palatschinke(n) is deemed to have been borrowed from Czech palačinka, that in turn from Hungarian palacsinta, and that in turn from Romanian plăcintă (a cake, a pie), where it ultimately derives from Latin placenta a word of Greek origin.[4]

According to the Hungarian Ethnographic Encyclopedia the Hungarian word palacsinta is an Italian loanword[5].

Palačinka is also the name in most West and South Slavic languages (Slovak palacinka, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Montenegrin, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovenian palačinka, палачинка). In Polish, the equivalent is called a naleśnik, in Ukrainian налисник (nalysnyk) or млинець (mlynec), in Russian налистник (nalistnik) or блинчик (blinchik), in Romanian clătită.

According to Dicționar universal al limbei române the dish is of Romanian origin.[6] The name plăcintă (clătită) (lit. "rinsed pie"), refers to the runny dough used for the recipe.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, Darra Goldstein, Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN 9780199313396, p. 12
  2. ^ June Meyers Authentic Hungarian Heirloom Recipes Cookbook
  3. ^ Gundel, Karoly (1992). Gundel's Hungarian cookbook. Budapest: Corvina. ISBN 963-13-3600-X. OCLC 124
  4. ^ Kluge. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. 2003, Walter De Gruyter, ISBN 3-11-017472-3 p. 675
  5. ^ Palacsinta, In: Hungarian Ethnographic Encyclopedia, © Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1977
  6. ^ L. Șăineanu, Dicționar universal al limbei române, ediția a VI-a, 1929, sub voce

External linksEdit