Shrove Tuesday is an ancient custom that is deeply engrained with religious roots. Historically, families would have a feast of products they weren’t allowed during the following 40 days of lent, such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs.
Pancakes have become the iconic association and modern namesake of Shrove Tuesday as it was a simple recipe to use up the aforementioned ingredients.
The UK and those in the Commonwealth refer to the event as Shrove Tuesday, whereas in France the celebration is known as Mardi Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday and it is this translation that has become the American term.
Other than the traditional British lemon and sugar pancake, we’ve collected nine other recipes from around the world to inspire and delight you this Pancake day:
Often served with warm maple syrup and crispy fried bacon, pancakes from across the pond are much thicker although unbelievably light and fluffy! The secret to their consistency is the addition of baking powder (or bicarbonate of soda) which reacts with the buttermilk to produce bubbles.
The opposite of the American pancake in appearance and consistency; the crêpe is very thin and can be either sweet or savoury depending on the filling.
Scottish (scotch) pancakes:
Scotch pancakes are also known as drop scones, so named from the process of dropping the batter into a hot pan. Typically, they are small, thick and covered in lashings of golden syrup and melted butter!
Slightly crispy on the outside with a soft doughnut texture on the inside, these Greek pancakes are typically served with honey, yoghurt and a sprinkle of nuts or they can be finished with grated cheese for a more savoury dish.
The name of the Japanese savoury pancake translates as ‘okonomi’, meaning "how you like" or "what you like", and ‘yaki’ meaning "cooked". Which makes sense as they are filled a variety of ingredients although a staple component is always cabbage.
Simply, these are the Australian take on the Scottish drop scone, but in Australia they are served as a snack, hence their smaller size.
A dish from southern India, the Uttapam is a thick pancake made from batter with the ingredients cooked into the mixture rather than being added after.
Chinese Cong you bing
Varying greatly to the western alternatives, Cong you bing (or scallion pancakes) are made from a dough instead of batter and they are cooked with spring onions (also known as scallions) in the mixture.
We asked our team what they'll be topping their pancakes with this year and it seems we certainly have a sweet tooth! Most of us will be opting for the traditional lemon and sugar, although some fantastic suggestions have been made including nutella & strawberries, apple & cinnamon and gooseberries & ice cream!
This year Shrove Tuesday is on the 5th of March. We’d love to hear what pancakes you’ll be making and what you’ll be topping them with! Let us know in the comments…