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Palačinky (pancake) is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from batter (a mixture of wheat flour, milk, eggs) cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan.

Traditionally, Czech palanciky are filled with apricot, plum, strawberry or apple jam, chocolate sauce or hazelnut spread, rolled up and sprinkled with confectionery sugar. The pancakes may also be eaten unsweetened, filled with cheese, meat, mushrooms or vegetable stews or topped with sour cream. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side.

The pancake's shape and structure varies worldwide. There are numerous variations of them throughout Europe. The Czech palacinky are totally different from American pancakes, as well as from the French crepes. Comparable to French crepes, which are cooked on one or both sides in a special crepe pan to achieve a network of fine bubbles often compared with lace, the Czech pancakes are considered to be thicker and puffier.

Pancakes are very popular, especially in the countries of Central Europe. Depending on the region, pancakes may be served at any time, with a variety of sweet toppings or fillings including jam, chocolate chips, fruit, syrup or meat. In Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, pancakes may be breakfast food, appetizer, main course, or even dessert. In Hungary, pancakes called palacsinta (also derived from Latin placenta) are made from flour, milk or soda water, sugar and eggs and eaten as a main dish or as a dessert. In Poland, thin crêpe-style pancakes are called naleśniki (pronounced naleshniki). Like any crêpe or blintz, they can be served with a variety of savory or sweet fillings as a main dish or a dessert.

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