Pancake Day is back on 25th February – better get your pan flipping skills out again!
Shrove Tuesday is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the 40 days in the Christian calendar that leads up to Easter, and was traditionally a period of fasting to symolise the 40 days spent in the desert by Jesus. Traditionally Shrove Tuesday was a day to confess sins before Lent, as well as to use up any eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients. Whilst today people may give up a variety of things for Lent (such as chocolate, caffeine and even swearing!), the practise of making pancakes has stood the test of time.
In the UK, some communities take Shrove Tuesday a bit further and organise a pancake race! It’s a great opportunity for participants, normally in fancy dress, to run down local streets tossing pancakes – with the name of the game being to cross the finishing line first, whilst carrying a frying pan with a cooked pancake in it and flipping the pancake as you run, which is not a bad way to run off the pancakes before Lent starts!
The most famous pancake race takes place at Olney in Buckinghamshire – according to local legend, in 1445 a woman of Olney heard the shriving bell calling for people to confess before Lent started while she was making pancakes. She reportedly ran to the church in her apron still clutching her frying pan, and starting a 575 year old tradition!
In Scarborough, Yorkshire, on Shrove Tuesday, everyone assembles on the promenade to skip. Long ropes are stretched across the road with around ten or more people skipping on one rope. The origins of this custom is not known but skipping was once a magical game, associated with the sowing and spouting of seeds which may have been played on burial mounds during the Middle Ages to help Spring and Easter along.
Did you know that on average, the UK consumes 2 pancakes per person on Pancake Day, meaning that approximately 117 million pancakes will be made in UK households on Shrove Tuesday – which requires enough milk to fill more than 93 Olympic swimming pools and almost 13 million kilos of plain flour! That’s a lot of lemon juice and sugar to add on top!
Just as important as the pancake itself are the toppings that are chosen, and it’s still a point of contention whether sweet or savoury toppings are the best for the annual pancake feast! Accoridng to a survey by Uber Eats in 2019, the following are the favourite pancake toppings in the UK:
- Strawberries and Whipped Cream
- Belgian Chocolate
- Maple Syrup
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Icing Sugar
- Mixed Berries
The survey has led to a shocking discovery – where is the lemon and sugar?!
As foodies read up on their pancake recipes, there are new alternatives for everyone to try out this year – gluten free buckwheat galettes served with melted cheese, ham and egg; American pancakes with fruit cooked in the batter (think blueberries, raspberries, or anything your heart desires!); and pancakes with bacon and maple syrup arriving from the other side of the Atlantic, sweet and salty for anyone looking for something a bit different!
Give us a call to discuss your baking and pancake requirements today! You can contact us:
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