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Fat Tuesday – What’s Shrove Got to Do With It?


Did you have Pancakes today, Pancake Tuesday:

Easter is one of the two greatest holidays for Christians everywhere. And tomorrow the count down to Easter begins. Lent is a time for many Christians to give something up. Many choose to give up a food they enjoy. It all starts tomorrow with Ash Wednesday.

Historically, Shrove Tuesday was always the last chance to indulge yourself and use up the rich, desirable foods that weren’t allowed during Lent. Since they contain fat, butter and eggs, pancakes were a perfect symbolic treat for such a gesture.

Who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner? The name Shrove comes from the old word “shrive” which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began.

Shrove Tuesday precedes Ash Wednesday and is therefore the final day before the commencement of Lent which lasts until Easter Sunday. So it’s a day to indulge yourself in a tall stack knowing full well this is the last time you set foot in an IHOP for some time.

Many different countries observe Lent in different forms & names but the main theme of penitence & celebration remain.

I love a good stack of pancakes from IHOP. ummm...

United Kingdom, Canada,Ireland, and Australia – Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday
Brazil – Terça-feira gorda – Fat Tuesday – the final day of Brazilian Carnival.
Greece – Apocreas, which means “from the meat” since they don’t eat meat during Lent, either.
Sweden – Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday).
Germany – “Fastnacht” (spelt “Fasnacht”, “Fasenacht”, “Fasteloven”
France – Mardi Gras which means Grease or Fat Tuesday.
Iceland – The day is known as “Sprengidagur” (Bursting day).

Some pancake facts…

United States maple syrup production in 2011 totaled 2.79 million gallons.

Aunt Jemima pancake flour was invented in 1889 in St. Joseph, Missouri. It wasn’t very popular at the beginning.

A French tradition is to often make a wish while turning the pancake during the cooking process, while holding a coin in the other hand.

The first recipe for pancakes were listed in the 15th century, in a English cookbook.

The world’s largest pancake was cooked in Roch-dale Manchester in the year 1994, which was around 15 meters in diameter, weighed three tons, and had a whopping two million calories.

William Shakespeare loved pancakes so much, that he mentioned them in his plays.

On 6 May 2009 in Missouri, a new Guinness World Records for most pancakes served in an hour was set at 956.

The practice of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday can be dated back as far as 1,000 years ago.

Shrove Tuesday used to be a great day for cock-fighting in England. Cockfighting was introduced to Britain by the Romans. English superstitions note that in the Midlands, the first pancake made was given to the chickens, to ensure their fertility during the year. It was also believed that the first three pancakes cooked were sacred. They were each marked with a cross before being sprinkled with salt and then set aside to ward off evil.

Those crazy Canadians… On Pancake Day in Newfoundland, Canada, items are placed in the pancake batter before it is cooked to foretell the future for family members. If a boy received an item for a trade, it meant he would enter that trade. If a girl received an item for a trade, it meant she would marry a person from that trade.

So if you missed pancakes today, I’m sorry.


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