This year Shrove Tuesday is on Tuesday 25th February 2020. The idea of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is more than 1,000 years old and we will be carrying on the tradition in the Atlas Translations office! Eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is traditionally a way of using up rich foods like eggs, sugar and butter, before fasting and abstinence during the 40 days of Lent.
In England, Shrove Tuesday is also called Pancake Day but in other countries this day is called Mardi Gras which literally translates as ‘Fat Tuesday’. The most famous Mardis Gras celebration is the Mardis Gras carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Pancake Day – Pancake Races
In England, celebrations are much smaller in scale than the Brazilian carnival but you will find community Pancake Races taking place in towns and villages across the country including the St Albans Pancake Race. Expect to see people running in a race with a pancake in a pan. As they run, they have to toss the pancake so it turns over in the air and then catch it in their pan. Some pancake races also require participants to dress up.
The pancake race tradition arises from the village of Olney in Buckinghamshire. The story goes that a woman heard the church bell ring and she ran to church to confess her sins, but she was in the middle of making her pancakes so she ran to church whilst flipping the pancakes to ensure that they didn’t burn.
In France, people make a wish before flipping their pancakes. They do this while holding a coin in the other hand.
There are many pancake recipes but for tried and tested flippers ready for any pancake race you’ll need:
- 110g plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 200ml milk
- 1 teaspoon of butter
Simply measure the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle of the flour and add two eggs. Whisk the eggs and flour together and once they are combined you can start to slowly add the milk. Keep whisking and adding the milk until you have a smooth batter.
Take a frying pan, add the butter and then heat the frying pan whilst you add one ladle of pancake batter. After a minute or two you can flip the pancake. Cook for another minute and then your pancake should be Pancake Race ready!
Alternatively, you can simply add your favourite toppings, fruit or syrup and enjoy eating your pancake instead.
Happy Pancake Day!