As the moments countdown, there are millions around the world that partake in two rituals before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season. Whether we choose one of them for the religious reasons or just for the stack, nakedness and revelry is neither here no there. Fact is, there are people around the world celebrating Carnival, like here in Trinidad and Tobago as well as others digging into a stack of pancakes for Shrove Tuesday.
According to the BBC website, Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it’s the last day before Lent. Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent.
During Lent there are many foods that some Christians – historically and today – would not eat: foods such as meat and fish, fats, eggs, and milky foods.
So that no food was wasted, families would have a feast on the shriving Tuesday, and eat up all the foods that wouldn’t last the forty days of Lent without going off.
The need to eat up the fats gave rise to the French name Mardi Gras (‘fat Tuesday’). Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday as they were a dish that could use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house with just the addition of flour.
So there you have it. Of course, I became familiar with Carnival Tuesday’s doppleganger while living in the U.K. and I daresay I joined in. My favourite pancake spot can be found on Kings Road in Chelsea, namely, My Old Dutch Pancake House.
Pancakes definitely don’t make my top ten list of foods that I love but after a few seconds of turning up my nose, I will always indulge in anything purporting to possess sweet goodness. My Old Dutch certainly made me do a complete 360. With both sweet and savoury on offer, these pancakes will remain etched on your palette till the end of time.
I remember my first choice being the Full English (seen above) which includes fried of scrambled eggs, tomato, bacon and mushrooms, you guessed it…on a pancake. Here are a few of my other top picks from My Old Dutch.
The Some Like it Hot pancake – topped with spicy chicken, freshly chopped red and green chillis and red onion.
Here are a few other beauties sourced from My Old Dutch’s Facebook page. Enjoy! And of course, if you in London…pop in!