RI Food Encyclopedia

Johnny Cakes


The Johnny Cake legend dates back to Colonial times when Native Americans introduced Rhode Island’s early settlers to corn. According to Stephen Head, the owner of Jigger’s Diner in East Greenwich, settlers would take round corn-based cakes with them on long journeys because the edible items travelled well, hence their original name – Journey Cakes. Eventually the ‘r’ was dropped and these sweet-savory discs became known as Johnny Cakes. Kenyon’s Grist Mill, the oldest manufacturing business in Rhode Island, produces a white cornmeal used in Jiggers’ Johnny Cakes, and they do so the old fashioned way, using original granite millstones quarried from Westerly. 145 Main Street, East Greenwich. 884-6060

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