Pancake Tuesday tradition falls flat

Pancakes with sugar and lemon, which are traditionally made on Shrove Tuesday to use up any remaining milk, eggs and butter before Lent begins tomorrow. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Pancakes with sugar and lemon, which are traditionally made on Shrove Tuesday to use up any remaining milk, eggs and butter before Lent begins tomorrow. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Tue, Feb 12, 2013, 00:00

It’s a tradition that dates back centuries, but it seems the custom of whipping up a batch of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday has fallen rather flat.

The simple combination of plain flour, milk and eggs can lead to sheer magic in the kitchen, yet a new study says many British people will be shunning pancakes today.

Just half of people surveyed will be getting out the frying pans for this year’s festivities, a drop of 25 per cent compared with 10 years ago, according to British research by Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

A quarter of those surveyed were clueless about how to make a simple pancake batter from scratch.

The reasons given ranged from ‘can’t be bothered’ to concern that the dish takes ‘too much time and effort’.

Some 15 million Irish eggs will be used to make pancakes in households across Ireland this year, according to the Irish Egg Association.

Traditionally cooking with the eggs, flour and butter on Shrove Tuesday was aimed at using up remaining rich food in the larder ahead of the abstinence and fasting of Lent.

Pancake Tuesday always comes the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent.It stems from the old English word “shrive”, meaning to confess sins.

The word ‘pancake’ can refer to a variety of creations from around the world — whether it’s the thin kind traditionally served with lemon and sugar, a stack of fluffy American ones topped with blueberries or maple syrup, or a lacy French crepe smothered in chocolate hazelnut spread.

Below are some recipes to get started:

Most Discussed