Monday, July 16, 2012

Johnny Cakes ???

I was browsing through James N. Arnold's Narragansett Historical Register, A Magazine, Vol. 2, 1883-1884, when page 315 caught my eye. Someone contributed to the magazine a history of the johnny cake. I checked Google Images for a picture and my, my, my but there are lots of ways to fix johnny cakes.

(This was a reply to a previous question, posting or editorial comment.)  "JOHNNY CAKE---  Brother Gardiner of the Telephone has copied the note in our last number into his paper and added remarks which we are grateful for. He says in brief that Shawnee Cake would have been as good a name, to which we perfectly agree. He then says Journey Cake is a true name and cites facts. We have always understood this last name to be the correct one, and that "Johnny" was a latter rendering. The fact is clear that Journey Cake was made and eaten in Rhode Island long before the Revolution, and we think they were invariably called Journey Cake................"

Is this saying that Johnny Cake originated as Journey Cake in Rhode Island?  I would have guessed it was of Southern origin. ..... so I checked Wikipedia:

Johnnycake (also jonnycake, johnny cake, journey cake, shawnee cake and johnny bread) is a cornmeal flatbread that was an early American staple food and is prepared on the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to Jamaica.[1] The food probably originates from the native inhabitants of North America. It is still eaten in the West Indies, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Colombia, and Bermuda[2] as well as in the United States. In the Southern United States, the same food is referred to as hoecake.   The earliest attestation of the term "johnny cake" is from 1739 (in South Carolina); the spelling "journey cake" is only attested from 1775 (on the Gulf coast), but may be the earlier form.[4][5] The word is likely based on the word "Jonakin," recorded in New England in 1765, itself derived from the word "jannock," recorded in Northern England in the sixteenth century.[6] According to Edward Ellis Morris, the term was the name given "by the [American] negroes to a cake made of Indian corn (maize)."[7]

Anybody have any family stories of johnny cakes by any name???? Did you find this of interest?


Margie said...

I left a comment, but apparently it wasn't approved? Or did it not go thru?

Margie said...

For some reason, it appears my comments are not taking.

Miriam said...

Only these comments came through to my inbox to be approved, Margie. I checked my spam and trash files, so apparently whatever you posted earlier did not go through.