daily californian logo

BERKELEY'S NEWS • JANUARY 29, 2023

Ring in the New Year with our 2023 New Year's Special Issue!

Classic and convenient: An ode to boxed pancake mix

article image

DALE SIMONSON | CREATIVE COMMONS

(Photo by Dale Simonson under CC BY SA 2.0 .)

SUPPORT OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

APRIL 18, 2021

Boxed pancake mix is one of the few processed foods I can fully endorse. The pre-made mixture of flour, shortening, salt, sugar and baking soda saves time by providing you with dry ingredients that are already in the right proportions. All you need from your kitchen are eggs and milk, although I’d also recommend a teaspoon or two of vanilla if you’ve got it. I have a soft spot for these mixes because they’re where I got my start in cooking. Spending Saturday mornings experimenting with additions such as chocolate chips, peanut butter, canned whipped cream or blueberries composed one of my first routine experiences of seasoning something to taste. The possibilities are endless when it comes to pancake add-ons: I know a few twisted, beautiful minds that have even tried savory modifications, such as strips of smoky bacon and sourdough starter.

In general, you can expect processed food to be chock-full of ingredients that have no safe level of consumption, such as high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and preservatives. Such is not the case with pancake mixes. Pitting pancake mix against items such as Slim Jims or Twinkies as if they’re equally processed is an unfair comparison. The former aids home-cooking by saving time, whereas the latter two are about as far removed as possible from their original source ingredients. Simply put, pancake mix is a tier above other processed foods.

With the advent of processed food and industrialization, quality is quite often sacrificed for convenience. Sure, making pancakes from scratch does taste marginally better, but I believe this is a case in which the trade-off is worth it. After all, can pancakes really be a comfort food if you have to gather flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, oil, eggs and milk and then clean it all up just to make breakfast? There is also a sense of nostalgia that comes with brand-name foods such as Bisquick pancakes, Kraft mac and cheese and any breakfast cereal. All things considered, it’s worth stocking your pantry with boxed pancake mix for its reliability, cost-effectiveness and convenience.

Contact Abhi Varma at [email protected].
LAST UPDATED

APRIL 18, 2021


Related Articles

featured article
I love letting the seasons influence my food choices because each season brings new flavors and colors. These three smoothies are the perfect example of this; they're not only delicious, but they fit the spring aesthetic perfectly.
I love letting the seasons influence my food choices because each season brings new flavors and colors. These three smoothies are the perfect example of this; they're not only delicious, but they fit the spring aesthetic perfectly.
featured article
featured article
Finding the time and motivation to prepare your own breakfast in college is difficult enough. But if you’re a picky eater like me, it feels even harder.
Finding the time and motivation to prepare your own breakfast in college is difficult enough. But if you’re a picky eater like me, it feels even harder.
featured article
featured article
The other day, I got a watermelon from Trader Joe’s, and it tasted god-awful. That's when I realized that I have no business buying watermelons during winter.
The other day, I got a watermelon from Trader Joe’s, and it tasted god-awful. That's when I realized that I have no business buying watermelons during winter.
featured article