Slovak Palacinky

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
A plate of palacinky before rolling
A plate of palacinky before rolling


Trudging through the front door with burdened feet, a welcoming scent of cinnamon squirms its way into my mind as my weary eyes feast upon a full table of palacinky. Toasty cinnamon sugar sprinkled upon a layer of tart, handmade plum jam, spread on top of a thin pancake with reminiscent air bubble imprints, and rolled into a delightful palacinka lovingly cooked by my Grandma. It is my favorite Slovak food.

Every time I peer at the faded ink of my Grandma’s handwritten recipe, my mind evokes recollections of my family history. The many elements of my culture, such as my Slovak heritage, are ingrained in the dips and circular ridges of these crepes. The fresh jam revives my mind of the struggles my parents, similar to many families, endured since immigrating from Slovakia to New Jersey to Las Vegas. Resembling the cinnamon scent of the sugar, I have a vast array of sweet opportunities that come with harsh burdens. Each whiff prompts sentiments of problems that are both unique to me and shared with other children of immigrant parents.

As such, I recently forced myself to learn how to make palacinky. Despite the fact that I used the exact same jam, cinnamon sugar, and ingredients for a copycat attempt, the taste morphed into a disheartened, half-decent rendition of the original. After all, palacinky never taste the same if they are not surrounded by the ones who make them beloved, but the beauty in their legacy and love lives on with me through each bite. 

Place(s): Slovakia

– Ellie Lakatos

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant