Bruce Peat

28th February 2017

The history of Pancake Tuesday

The history of Pancake (or Shrove) Tuesday is that it was traditionally a Christian day of feasting prior to Ash Wednesday, a 40 day period of fasting.

Due to the period of fasting beginning on Ash Wednesday, Shrove Tuesday was traditionally a way for households to use up any items which they could not consume for the next 40 days. Because these items included foods such as eggs and fats, pancakes were the perfect snacks to use up all of those items. Pancake Tuesday's strong links to the Christian religion are also the reason why its date changes each year as it will always be 47 days before Easter Sunday, a date which is also not fixed in the calendar.

Pancakes Peak scientific

Pancakes have long been associated with Shrove Tuesday and have been around even longer. Cookery books dating back to 1439 have been found to include pancake recipes, there are even references to flipping pancakes from 1619.

Speaking of flipping pancakes, in 2012 the University College London came up with a formula to generate the perfect flip:

L = 4×H /π– D / 2

(L = hand distance from inner edge of the pancake / H = height of flip / D = diameter of pancake)

We haven't tested this formula for ourselves but we do trust that the team at University College London have done their homework on the subject.

Looking for some great pancake recipes to try out today? Have a go at making some of these and be sure to send us any pictures!

Simple Pancake recipe

Gordon Ramsey's Pancake recipes


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