Pancakes, griddle cakes, hot cakes, or flap jacks - all names used to describe a
simple, thin batter used to make pancakes by spooning it onto a hot cooking surface
where it is cooked until the flat, round cakes are golden brown.
The traditional English pancake is a very thin one, (like a French crepe) which is served immediately and optionally sprinkled with caster sugar (confectionery, superfine or powdered sugar in the United States) and a dash of fresh lemon juice .
Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day
In Britain, Ireland, and Australia, pancakes are traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday
/ Pancake Day.
Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day is the last day before the period which Christians
call Lent. Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday
is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren't allowed
in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs
which were forbidden during Lent.
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before to Easter Sunday, so the date varies
from year to year and falls between February 3 and March 9.
On Pancake Day, pancake races are held in villages and towns across Britain. Traditionally,
women carry a frying pan and race to the finishing line tossing the pancakes as
they go. As the pancakes are thin, some skill is required to toss them successfully
while running. The winner is the first to cross the line having tossed the pancake
a certain number of times!