Pancake Day - Top 10 Facts
Published: Tuesday 4th Mar 2014
Written by: Suffolk Secrets Team
Happy Pancake Day! Here's our top 10 Shrove Tuesday facts:
- Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day or Mardi Gras is the name for the religious festival that occurs on the Tuesday right before Lent (Ash Wednesday).
- Lent is the fasting period when Christians traditionally gave up certain foods for a period of 40 days.
- Many foods that were traditionally not allowed during the fasting period were fresh meats and dairy products including milk, eggs and butter. However to prevent these perishable foods from being wasted, they were used up on the day before Lent. Flour was added to to the fats and eggs to make a pancake batter.
- Mardi Gras, the name that the French gave Shrove Tuesday meaning "fat Tuesday", is so called due to the tradition of using up all of the fats, butter and dairy.
- The name "Shrove" originates from the verb "shrive", where traditionally Christians would "shrive themselves" during the week before Lent by visiting a priest to confess and receive absolution for their sins.
- In 1445, the very first pancake race is rumoured to have taken place in Olney, England when a local parishioner lost track of time when she making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Legend says that whilst tossing her pancakes, she heard the distinctive peal of her local church bells, beaconing her to prayer and confession. Realising that she was late for church, the lady ran out of her front door with the frying pan still in her hand and ran all the way to church flipping a pancake whilst still wearing her apron. Today Olney still holds a pancake race every Shrove Tuesday, where you'll see local women running down the High Street flipping pancakes and wearing aprons!
- According to The Guinness Book of Records, the largest pancake ever made measured 15 metres in diameter and weighed 3 tonnes. It was created by the Co-Operative Union in Rochdale in 1994.
- In 2012, The Guinness Book of Records claimed that Brad Jolly, an Australian celebrity chef, was the fastest pancake flipper in the world, who notched up 140 pancake flips in 1 minute at an event in Sydney!
- The UK's "top tossers" record for the most people tossing pancakes at any one time, was achieved at the Uni of Sheffield at an event in February 2012. Whilst a total of 930 flippers attended, 40 were disqualified due to the fact that they dropped their pancake!
- In the 2014 Suffolk Secrets staff survey, the undisputed winner of "The World's Best Pancake Topping Award" goes to Lemon and Sugar. What's your favourite topping?