Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras are all terms to describe today- the day before Lent. Shrove means to confess ones sins or repent, which was the tradition of Catholics before the great 40 days of fasting. Over time it came to be known more as fat Tuesday because people would pig out before they fasted ( I never got this, and still don't). Big celebrations go on in anticipation of the 40 days of Lent.

What I never understood until recently was why everyone seemed to celebrate by eating pancakes. Pancakes as a celebratory feast?

What were you thinking?

So I did a little research and figured out the why....

It turns out way back when, folks didn't use any animal products during Lent. No butter, meat,eggs, fats- and so the day before they would use up whatever they had in the house to avoid being wasteful. They couldn't 'keep' these things for a whole 40 days and so the next natural step was how to combine them in the best way. Pancakes took only a little extra flour with the aforementioned ingredients and so that is why we see pancakes as the desired meal for Tuesday before Lent.

Locally, lots of people are eating fastnachts or kinklings today. Its a fried donut type thingy ( think zepole) which seems to fall under the same general premise of fats and sweets that would need to be used up.

Personally, pancakes are not that appealing -  we had chili.

1 comment:

  1. Our pancakes, bacon, and sausage were really delish!!! I am one to follow the crowd whenever it comes to eating. However, perhaps Anna Banana had too much of them as she projectile vomited approx 45 minutes later! Maybe she was trying to imitate the Romans?