Jonnycake (also spelled "johnnycake," johnny cake, and "journey cake") is a baked
cornmeal flatbread, and was a popular American pioneer staple food. The dough was set on a wooden board or barrel stave and placed at an angle in front of an open fire to bake. [Vogel, "Hoe Life in Early Indiana", p. 9: "This pan was also used for baking pancakes, sometimes called 'flap-jacks,' and bread, too, was frequently made on it. Johnny cake was baked on a board made for this purpose, about ten inches wide and fifteen inches long and rounding at the top. The thick corn dough was placed on the board which was set against a chunk of wood near the fire. After one side had been baked to a nice brown, the other side was treated the same way. The resulting cake was often delicious. If a johnny-cake board was not at hand, a hoe, without a handle, was cleaned and greased with bear's oil. The dough was baked on this metal surface and was called a hoe-cake."] The dough, made of cornmeal, salt, and water, was seldom sweetened since sugar was expensive and in short supply in early colonial America and on the frontier.
Modern johnnycake is popularly identified with
Rhode Islandfoods. A 1776 diary of Thomas Vernon mentions "Jonny cake" while dining in Glocester, Rhode Island, on [http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC09427697&id=clqxUiI0fKoC&pg=RA2-PA1&lpg=RA2-PA1&dq=thomas+vernon#PRA2-PA43,M1 page 43] . A modern jonnycake is usually made of lightly sweetened cornmealand hot water and fried in butter, somewhat similar to fried polentaor thin wheat bread.
Jonnycake is often served with
maple syrupor other sweet toppings. Hoecakes are a variant of jonnycakes. They are cooked on the blade of a hoe.
* In the U.S. in the 1800s, the johnnycake was known to symbolize an inn or tavern, such as a
barber's polesymbolizes a barbershop and a three-sphere symbol symbolizes a pawnbroker. [" [http://blog.cleveland.com/pdextra/2007/08/johnnycake_ridge_road_3_differ.html Johnnycake Ridge Road -- 3 different versions of its origin] ", PD Extra, August 31, 2007]
*In the popular television series "
The Sopranos", while hiding in New Hampshire, mobster Vito Spataforebegins a relationship with a short-order cook who regularly serves him jonnycakes. Vito begins referring to his lover as " Johnny Cakes".
the Simpsonsepisode "Lisa The Iconoclast", the curator of the Springfield Historical Society mentions making "microwave Jonnycakes".
*In American West Classic
Shane, the mother cooks Jonnycakes for Shane.
*In the song "Brown Girl in the Ring" by Boney M - "I remember one Saturday night we had fried fish and jonnycakes."
* In the
Dariaepisode "Aunt Nauseum" Jake Morgendorfferbuys a Civil War cookbook and makes Johnny Cakes for the entire family. Repeatedly throughout the episode Johnny Cakes are mentioned.
* In the 1967 novel
The Outsiders, the character Johnny Cadeis often referred to as "Johnnycake" by the rest of the gang.
* Old rural New England saying "Pea soup and Jonnycake, makes a Frenchman's belly ache"
*Beaulieu, Linda, "The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook", Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2006, ISBN 0762731370.
*Vogel, William Frederick. "Home Life in Early Indiana". "Indiana Magazine of History" 10:2 (June 1914) 1-29. Indiana: University of Indiana.
* [http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC09427697&id=clqxUiI0fKoC&pg=RA2-PA1&lpg=RA2-PA1&dq=thomas+vernon#PRA2-PA43,M1 The Diary of Thomas Vernon, a loyalist from Newport exiled in Glocester, Rhode Island in 1776, page 43] .
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