10 Pancake Day Facts
Today across the country everyone is talking pancakes, parents will be flipping pancakes in their kitchens, others maybe having pancakes at their favourite restaurants in the annual ‘Pancake Day‘ tradition. The idea of eating pancakes on the day before Ash Wednesday is more than 1000 years old.
The reason for this is; in the days before chocolate and crisps, making pancakes was a way of using up rich foods such as eggs, milk and sugar before the fasting season of Lent.
In religious terms, the 40 days of Lent meant eating plainer food and refusing meals that are a pleasure to eat. In many cultures this means no meat, dairy or eggs.
Here are some interesting facts about this age old tradition
1. The first recorded pancake race was in Olney, Buckinghamshire in England in 1445.
2. The first pancake recipe appeared in an English cookbook in the 15th century. It’s a tradition that continues all over England. It is said to have originated in Olney as a housewife was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time. When she heard the church bells ringing for mass she ran out of her house, still carrying her pan and pancake. Olney still has a pancake race every year.
3. The largest number of pancakes tossed in the shortest amount of time is 349 tosses in two minutes, which was achieved by Dean Gould at Felixstowe, Suffolk in 1995.
4. The longest race in the quickest time was held in Melbourne, Australia. Jan Stickland covered 384m in 59.5 seconds on 19 February 1985.
5. The largest pancake ever made and flipped measured 15.01m wide, 2.5cm deep and weighed 3 tonnes. It was made in Rochdale, Greater Manchester during August 1994.
6. It is customary in France to touch the handle of the frying pan and make a wish while the pancake is turned, holding a coin in one hand.
7. On Pancake Day in Newfoundland, Canada people place items in the pancake batter before it is cooked to tell the future for family members. If it happens that boy receives item for a trade, it means he will enter the trade but if a girls receives item from a trade, it means she will marry a person from trade.
8. Maple Syrup was originally a sweet drink, discovered by the Algonquin Indians who collected sap from Canadian sugar maple trees and then boiled to produce the delicious beverage.
9. Taking the easy way to make your pancakes is not a new thing. The first ready-mix food which was sold commercially was Aunt Jemima pancake flour. It was invented in 1889 in St. Joseph, Missouri. It wasn’t very popular at the beginning.
10. Pancake Tuesday is known as Carnivale in Italy which comes from the Latin for ‘goodbye to the flesh’.