Without doubt one of the finest celebrations the UK, nay the western World has on its calendar - Pancake Day! Hurray for Pancakes. Steeped in religious tradition, Shrove Tuesday on its way, the days are getting longer and thrown into the mix we get to eat lots of yummy food. Splendid! But where did Pancake Day Originate? Why do we celebrate it? And as is traditional with our blog posts what weird and wonderful facts can we find out about Pancake Day.
Origins of Pancake Day
Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday to give it its correct name is the first day of Lent and was traditionally when households used up foods, like flour, eggs, fat and sugar, which were restricted during the 40 day period of lent. But why called Pancakes? Pancakes derive from the ancient Greek Teganites which come from their Tagenon meaning “Frying Pan”. These Teganites were made using similar ingredients to the ones we use for pancakes and were first described by Greek poets in 5th Century BC. They were first mentioned in English cooking in 1430, so they are pretty old!
All things Pancake
As is traditional with these blog posts, we like to bring you a whopping great load of facts about the chosen subject. Think of it as a refresher course for if ever you feature on Mastermind and you need a specialist subject. In this instance it would be…erm… pancakes.
Who holds the World record for eating the most pancakes? Andrei Smirnov of Russian descent ate a mammoth 73 pancakes in one hour. That’s more than 1 a minute. Woah!
What’s the biggest pancake ever made? The World’s biggest ever pancake measured in at 15 meter in diameter and weighed in at a whopping 3 tonnes. In an ode to the animal kingdom this giant pancake if stood up on its end is as high as 3 giraffes and weighs in at the same as a large hippo. It is however slightly less ferocious. Delightfully this gargantuan pancake was constructed in Rochdale in 1994.
How many pancakes do we eat? On average we consume 2 pancakes per person on Shrove Tuesday which means that we devour 117 million pancakes in one day. This requires enough milk to fill over 93 Olympic Swimming Pools and almost 13 million kilos of plain flower which weighs around the same as 55,319 Sumo wrestlers.
Toppings. It may be different strokes for different folks, but the weirdest pancake toppings have to be sour cream and caviar, ketchup and mustard, peanut butter and ice cream, coco pops and cream, cream cheese and strawberries.
What’s the difference between the types of pancake? Compared to English pancakes, American ones are the same as Scotch ones and contain a raising agent and batter is thicker with different ration of eggs/flour/milk. Crepes are pretty much the same as English pancakes but can sometime have higher proportion of eggs to flour and milk. Crepes and English pancakes have the filling rolled inside whilst your Scotch/American pancakes have the filling on top sometimes layered between a number of pancakes. So there you go…
Step by step guide to making a pancake
So how do you make the perfect pancake? Our intrepid culinary research team have scoured high and low to find the perfect recipe…
Makes 12-14 pancakes
• 110g plain flower
• 200ml semi skimmed milk
• 75ml water
• 50g butter
• 2 medium eggs beaten
• Pinch of salt
Add flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the beaten eggs into the well and whisk into the flour. In a jug combine the milk and water. Gradually add to the flour while continuing to whisk. Whisk until all liquid has been added and batter is the consistency of single cream. Melt butter in a frying pan over a high heat, reduce to a medium heat then add a ladle of batter and swirl pan to spread mixture evenly over the base. After 30 seconds the bottom should be lightly browned, use a spatula to ease off the pancake off the bottom of the pan and then flip.
Cook the other side for a few seconds and then slide onto a plate and serve with a filling of your choose.
o lemon juice and sugar
o Orange juice and sugar
• Sweet toothed
o Lemon and Honey
o Golden Syrup
o Mashed and melted chocolate
o Melted chocolate and marshmallows
• American style
o Bacon and Maple Syrup
o Fruity – Strawberries and whipped cream
o Raspberries and ice cream
o Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon
o Fried Leeks with Blue Cheese
Things you might need
We wouldn’t be a true retailer if we didn’t suggest some of our goodies which you might need to make the perfect pancake would we? Here’s a few kitchen gadgets which not only do we love, but also aid the production of the cake of the pan?
The Russian Doll Measuring Cups, will not only will they help you measure out the flour for your pancakes and look great in your kitchen, but due to the Russian Doll concept they’ll also take up minimum space.
The Apron Guides is a great way to keep stray batter off your clothes and keep handy cooking tips, like numeric conversions, close at hand.
Marshmallow fluff is a delicious goo that makes a great pancake filling either on its own or combined with grated chocolate.
The M-Spoons. These cute measuring spoons are the perfect addition to your kitchen! Each one fits into the other just like Matryoshkas do, or in laymans talk just like Russian Dolls do!