Well at least it is here in the British Isles!
It’s Pancake Day – a day to ... well ... eat pancakes!
Whether you’ve tucked into a pancake for breakfast, or will have them for your evening meal – there are loads of ways to eat them ...
Sweet ... with lemon and sugar or even some fruit or chocolate spread!
Or savoury – cheese, ham, spicy minced meat, avocado... I’ve even seen a recipe for pancakes with Brussel Sprouts and smoked salmon!
It seems pancakes go with anything and everything.
All you need is some flour, egg, salt and little milk, a little pan and – voila!
But the question is - why do we eat them particularly on this day?
Why is it ‘Pancake Day’?
The 40 Days of Lent were and still are traditionally a time when people fasted to prepare themselves for the holy festival of Easter which commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and on the Tuesday before it all began, Christians went to confession and were ‘shriven’ or absolved from their sins, ready for the serious time ahead.
It was also a day when kitchen cupboards were cleared of all the stuff which couldn’t be eaten during the Lenten Season, including eggs and fats which they mixed with flour to make – pancakes!
In other parts of the world Pancake Day is called Mardi Gras ... or ‘Fat Tuesday’ ! That phrase also relates to a season of festivals running from the feast of the Epiphany. which we celebrated on January 6th, through to Shrove Tuesday.
Some cultures, including Poland, make donuts instead for Fat Thursday – that was last week! It happens five days days before the start of Lent.
So – however many pancakes you eat today, and however you eat them – you’re in good company.
And you’re part of history ... the pancake has featured in cookery books as far back as 1439. And no sooner were they cooking them than people were flipping them! In the town of Olney in Buckinghamshire they’ve apparently been tossing pancakes since 1445 – it’s the most famous Pancake Race in the world! Of course, it's not happening this year because of the coronavirus pandemic ... but it will live on!
*Footnote - by the way if you happen to be listening to BBC Radio Jersey this morning - Shrove Tuesday 2021 - you might hear these words I've written above. I have recorded them ... or most of them ... for a little 'Pancake Day Explainer' ... just part of my contribution to the understanding and fun of the day!