As we celebrate Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) here in the UK, we thought it would be the perfect time to take a look at how Pancake Day has evolved and the different types of pancakes you can find across the world.
Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday is a feast day falls on the day before the Christian period of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. It is now a mostly secular event, celebrated by most Brits regardless of their faith.
When we were children, Pancake Day involved a lot of mess, flipping the pancake (normally a disaster) and then sprinkling it with a spoonful or sugar and lots of lemon juice. Whilst that remains a staple of the event, people are becoming more ambitious and adventurous not only with their toppings but with the actual pancakes themselves.
Pancake Day gives retailers a chance to boost their sales of things like flour, eggs, lemon juice, jam and chocolate spreads. More recently, they have seen an increase in sales of pre-made UK pancake mixes (crepe style), american style pancake mixes and even ready made crepes and pancakes. Many consumers are also adding sweet waffles into the mix!
In the UK, it is relatively rare to buy pancakes from bakeries. Some supermarkets sell ready made US style pancakes but it's unlikely you'd find them in an independent bakery. So we thought we'd take a look across to Europe...
One of my favourite things about visiting France is the food! A huge part of this are the famous crêperies, which can be found within bakeries and all over the place as street food. There are usually two types; sweet crêpes that are filled with anything from banana and chocolate spread to marshmallows, creams and jams. Then there are savoury crêpes, known as galettes. These are usually made from non-wheat flours and include fillings such as cheese, ham, and eggs and mushrooms.
Swiss pancakes are very light and fluffy and usually served with a sprinkling of nuts. They can be found in bakeries across Switzerland. They are popular all year round but we think you could truly get the full experience when they are paired with The Carnival of Basel (Basler Fasnacht). Held on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, and is 72-hours of non-stop celebrating and widely thought to be one of the best festivals in Europe! It involves participants running around in costume, handing out sweets and playing live music.
Romanian pancakes are known as Clătite, cooked fast in a hot pan and filled with something sweet or savory although in Romania, they usually eat them sweet. Similar to French crêpes, but often they are filled, rolled up and then fried. Wherever you go in Romania, you're likely to find pancakes, in one form or another, somewhere on the menu!
What is your favourite type of pancake and filling? You can let us know in the comments below.
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