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Around the world in pancakes

Pancakes are one of the most universal foods, with countries across six continents justifiably proud of their own unique versions. Here are five that are well worth travelling for.

Fortune-telling in Newfoundland, Canada

The Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

The Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

At first glance, Canadian pancakes aren’t that different from the fluffy batter-based stacks favoured in the USA. It’s with the first bite, however, that the difference becomes clear.

No, we’re not talking about the famous maple syrup, although that in itself is worth the trip. Instead, it’s Newfoundland’s tradition of hiding small tokens and prizes in their pancakes that makes them stand out.

Rather like an English Christmas Pudding, the object you find hidden in your pancakes predicts your future, including who you will marry, what job you will get and even how you will die.

Head over to Cape Breton Island to do a bit of whale watching and enjoy some home cooked pancakes at The Fiddle and the Sea B&B.

Classics in Paris, France

A traditional French galette

A traditional French galette

The classic French crêpe is loved and imitated all over the world. But there is something wonderfully decadent about eating a crepe next to the Seine, whether it’s served while you sit in a fine-dining establishment or piping hot from a river-side food cart.

Visitors to Paris with adventurous appetites should head to Crêperie Brocéliande. This Montmartre café specialises in savoury buckwheat crêpes with a variety of fillings and the selection of Brittany ciders is not to be missed.

The Marison Lepic Montmartre is a nearby, elegant guesthouse with a beautiful garden that’s ideal for a post-lunch nap in the sunshine.

Innovation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

A ethiopian injera, made from teff flour

A ethiopian injera, made from teff flour

Injera are an integral part of Ethiopian cuisine. These large spongy pancakes are laid on a flat dish and then curry and salad are placed on top. The result is a meal where the injera pancakes are both a plate and – when the edges are folded over – cutlery, as you also use it to scoop up the food.

You'll find some of Addis Ababa's best restaurants in the Chechnya District, all competing to produce the most authentic, delicious injera. Sample some of the city's famous Ethiopian coffee before enjoying a stroll through the area, and stay in the heart of it all by checking into the Impress Hotel.

Football in Northumberland, UK

The River Aln

The River Aln

Gigantic ‘Shrovetide’ football matches have been a Pancake Day tradition in the UK since the late-1800s. The matches usually take place between rival parishes, although they are open to all participants.

Today, the Alnwick football match brings hundreds of spectators to the grounds of Alnwick Castle and frequently involves players leaping into the River Aln to retrieve the ball.

Visitors to this (usually) quiet Northumberland market town can stay close to the castle at the cheerfully decorated Reighamsyde House. And – once you’ve showered off the mud – a plate of English pancakes, covered in lemon and sugar, is the perfect end to the day.

Multiple-toppings in Hiroshima, Japan

Go bigger and better with an okonomiyaki pancake

Go bigger and better with an okonomiyaki pancake

While the USA may have a reputation for piling their pancakes high with toppings, the Japanese okonomiyaki pancakes might just have them beat.

The Hiroshima version of these pancakes layer batter, shredded cabbage and pork, with optional toppings of squid, octopus, yakisoba noodles, cheese and even the occasional fried egg. Once the pancake is assembled add a generous serving of okonomi Sauce and float away to food nirvana.

Downtown Hiroshima is a full of restaurants serving up their own versions of okonomiyaki and includes a small area known as Okonomimura (Okonomiyaki Village) which is devoted to these savoury pancakes. Stay within walking distance at the Santiago Guesthouse Hiroshima.