It’s approaching that time of year again, it’s Shrove Tuesday! As well as being a great excuse to munch on some tasty pancakes, the day is steeped in historical and religious importance. It’s celebrated around the world and is a fun and tasty celebration for everyone to get involved with.
The traditional feast day comes up every Spring, before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, 40 days leading up to Easter. This year, Shrove Tuesday takes place on Tuesday February 25th.
Lent was traditionally a time of fasting, so Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the fast. Pancakes are a great way to use up these ingredients!
Pancakes can vary slightly from country to country, but a traditional English pancake is very thin and eaten immediately after it’s been made. To make pancakes, you just need plain flour, eggs, milk and salt. And whatever toppings your heart desires! A classic topping is lemon juice and caster sugar, but the fun with toppings certainly doesn’t end there. Check out this blog post for some pancake inspiration.
Another tradition on Shrove Tuesday are the infamous pancake races, which form an important part of the celebrations. These are a chance for lots of people, often in fancy dress, to race down the street tossing pancakes. One of the most famous pancake races takes place at Olney in Buckingham. The tradition goes that in 1445, a local woman in Olney heard the church bell sound while she was making pancakes, so she ran to the church in her apron while carrying the frying pan. To this day, the competitors in the Olney race must be local housewives and wear an apron and a hat during the race.