Pancake Day 2014: the story behind Shrove Tuesday's sweet tradition

Pancake Tuesday has arrived and for those in the UK that means it is time to whip up some delicious pancake mixtures and get a pan on the heat. But where exactly did this tradition all start and why?

The day itself serves as a marker for the beginning of Lent where people would abstain from eating foods that were considered fancy and luxurious as a form of sacrifice. In the initial Christian iteration of the day, known as Shrove Tuesday, Christians were asked to use the day mainly to figure out what to repent for during their upcoming 40 day fast.

Pancakes were made up of "luxury" items in the Middle Ages and foods like butter, eggs and flour were automatically prohibited during lent. The day then also filled a functional need to burn up the last of their stocks of these foods before the arrival of Ash Wednesday rather than waste any food.

The day has taken on a greater sense of over indulgence as Christians began to use the day as a last chance to eat their favourite tasty foods. As you can imagine, over the years this has led to tastier and tastier Pancake Tuesday recipes and you have so much to choose from today.

It is not just a phenomenon curious to the Europe either as the day is known in some parts of the States as Fat Tuesday and in others as Mardi Gras which has a more festival spirit to the day. Carnival in Brazil is another twist on letting loose before the discipline sets in on Ash Wednesday.

If you are stuck for a decent recipe this year then check out some of our delicious pancake suggestions to make Pancake Tuesday 2014 more enjoyable for you.

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