Pancake Day

JIF bottle
Originally uploaded by wardi.
Here in England it's Pancake Day today.

The pancakes are traditionally eaten with sugar and lemon juice. So shops have stocked up on lemon juice and batter mix!

I wonder if most people actually know why they are eating pancakes on this particular day??

I do, of course. Because I have to get used to living in this funny country, so I investigate their strange customs. ;-)

So why do people have pancakes on this day? Well, it has its origins in Christianity. Traditionally, Lent is a period of abstinence, so people would use up all fats, eggs and cream before the beginning of this period as these foods were not allowed during it.

And what better way to do that than make pancakes?? This is also the reason for the name Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) or similar names in other places.

I'm not sure exactly why the English eat the pancakes with lemon juice and sugar, but my guess it might be to balance the sweetness/fat of the pancakes...

The ingredients of the pancakes themselves also has a significance: Eggs ~ Creation, Flour ~ The staff of life, Salt ~ Wholesomeness, Milk ~ Purity.

The pancakes eaten in England are similar to what the French call crêpes; thin and roughly the size as a plate. We eat this same kind of pancakes in Denmark, but they are not associated with Shrove Tuesday.

In Denmark we do, however, have something else, called Fastelavnsboller, which is particular to this time of year too. And undoubtedly have the same origin. They are like rolls with a filling, which can be all kinds of things, marcipan, chocolate, custard, jam, or they can be cut in half and then have whipped cream between the two halves.

When I'm looking at this drawing I'm actually quite amazed that I did that. It looks so pretty. I'm especially happy with the typography. It's almost spot on the original. That's my little pat on the back for myself today.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 posted by Wardi @ 10:12 AM