Pancake Day is almost upon us!

Pancake recipe – dig out your frying pan!

Shrove Tuesday (on 4 March this year) will see many of us flipping pancakes and covering them with sweet and savoury fillings, but there’s more to pancakes than just eggs, flour and milk.

Where does the name Pancake Day come from?

Pancake Day - Pancake recipe

The tradition of Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day as it is more often known these days, dates back centuries.  Falling before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), Shrove Tuesday is so named from the Christian tradition of being “shriven” before the start of Lent (“shrove” is the past tense of “to shrive”, to receive absolution for sins through Confession and doing penance).

Why pancakes?

The fasting during the 40 days of Lent meant eating plainer food, and pancakes recipes offered a great way of using up rich foods such as eggs, sugar and milk before Lent started.  However the pancake recipe is not necessarily a consequence of Lent – apparently, according to archaeological evidence pancakes are possibly the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies!

The Pancake recipe around the world

The style of pancake varies around the globe with each different pancake recipe.  In the UK, for example, they are flat, more like the French crêpe, while pancakes in the US are made with a raising agent and are similar to a Scotch pancake.

On your marks!

The “pancake race” (running while flipping and catching a pancake in a frying pan) is thought to have originated in 1445 in Olney in Buckinghamshire, after a housewife who had been cooking pancakes before the start of Lent heard the “Shriving Bell” signalling the start of the Shriving church service and ran to the church carrying her frying pan while still wearing her apron and headscarf.  Every year on Shrove Tuesday, women in Olney still take part in a pancake race– and now compete against women in Liberal in Kansas in the US!

Did you know?

So dust off your frying pan and stock up on eggs, flour and milk and start flipping your pancakes.  We have a great pancake recipe for you to try.  The only question is: what will you put in them?


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