Yes, here is an official pancake day. Actually, it shouldn’t be all too surprising should it? I mean in the last few years there have been numerous dates being dedicated in the name of food – National Pizza Day, Popcorn day, Peanut butter day and so on and so on. The list is as big as the variety of foods there are out there in the world. Anyway, today we are focusing on one which has been known for a really long time – Pancake Day.
The origins of it dates way back and are deeply connected with Christianity. Pancake Day, or nowadays lesser known as Shrove Tuesday, was the traditional feast day before the start of Lent which began on Ash Wednesday. Lent is considered the 40 days leading up to Easter. That traditionally was a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday, the Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). People were called to confession by the ring of a bell. That became known as the “Pancake Bell”, which is still rung in some regions today.
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, therefore the date varies from year to year and can fall anywhere between February 3 to March 9. This year – 2017, Shrove Tuesday is to fall on the 28th February.
Back in the day, Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity for people to use up any leftover eggs and fats they had before embarking on the Lenten fast. They thought the best way to use up such ingredients would be to make pancakes and who can blame them? They are delicious! *Provided you cook them right, that is.
Here in the UK, a pancake is considered to be a thin, flat cake, made of batter and fried in a frying pan. A traditional English pancake is very thin and is served immediately after cooking. Some of the usual toppings would be golden syrup or lemon juice and with a sprinkle of caster sugar. Of course, those have shifted through the year as people have been getting more and more creative with their toppings. Anything from Nutella, peanut butter, fruits etc. There possibilities are endless. Hence, prepare yourself this Shrove Tuesday. Dust off your bowls and pans, get yourself some Pancake mix (ain’t nobody got time to make their own batter nowadays), your favourite mixture of toppings and fry the day away!