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A crumpet is a yeast bread often served at breakfast, though it also is a common sight at afternoon tea, a light snack eaten around 3 p.m. in the United Kingdom. Crumpets are very popular in England and Scotland, though English crumpets are round and have a spongy consistency with pores on top. A Scottish crumpet more closely resembles an American pancake. An English crumpet is designed to be served hot, frequently with butter. Marmalade, peanut butter, maple syrup and melted cheese also can be used to top crumpets.
Scottish crumpets look much like American pancakes but are cooked differently. Pancakes are cooked on both sides, while a Scottish crumpet is only cooked on one side. The cooking difference means Scottish crumpets are lightly colored on one side and golden brown on the other side. One may choose to spread jam on top of a Scottish crumpet before eating it. Australian food stores sell square crumpets. English crumpets and Australian crumpets are made of the same ingredients and in much the same way.
English muffins and English crumpets can be mistaken for each other, but the two foods do have a clear difference. The nooks and crannies of an English muffin are only visible when it is split open, because the bread is cooked on both sides. Crumpets are only cooked on one side, so the tiny holes can always be seen on top.
Breakfast and afternoon tea are not the only times when crumpets can be eaten. Crumpets can be used to make many desserts. Whipped cream and strawberries can be placed on top of crumpets to create a light and refreshing dessert. A richer treat can be created by putting chocolate ice cream on top of a crumpet.
Americans are not known for being consumers of crumpets, but this food can sometimes be found in specialty grocery stores. Some bakeries in the United States also may carry traditional crumpets. For true authenticity, crumpets can be ordered online and shipped to the United States.