I’ve got a confession to make – I don’t eat pancakes very often.
But, on Shrove Tuesday, it always seems criminal not to.
And, each year, the tradition is the same, a batch of paper thin, crispy crepes suzette are sizzled on the hob and kept warm in the oven before lashings of lemon juice and sugar are sprinkled on.
Occasionally I’ll try and justify the consumption of copious sugary pancakes with one or two savoury ones to start!
This year, that’s exactly what happened.
We started with a rather generous helping of buckwheat galettes with hot-smoked salmon, beetroot, radishes and sour cream and washed it all down with sugary, citrusy pancakes – oh the gluttony!
But that’s what Shrove Tuesday is all about, right?
Shrove Tuesday is the traditional feast day that marks the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.
Shrove Tuesday is always 47 days before Easter Sunday and is the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before starting the Lenten fast in the lead up to Easter – pancakes, it turns out, are the best way to use up these ingredients.
And, did you know – pancakes were referenced in cookery books as far back as 1439.
It’s said that the ingredients for pancakes symbolise four points that are significant at this time of year – egg (creation), flour (the staff of life), salt (wholesomeness) and milk (purity).
This year I’ve decided to give a Lenten fast a go – not for any reason other that a bit of a detox – I’m out with alcohol, cakes and desserts – maybe not entirely but certainly in some form – wish me luck!