When is Pancake Day 2018?
Pancake Day, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, lands on 13th February this year. The exact date changes every year because it is determined by Easter. It is always in February or March and is the last day before Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. It is the one day in the year when nearly every kitchen in the UK will get themselves ready for a few flipping competitions and inevitably there'll be a few pancake covered ceilings too… Pancake day was a little later last year, meaning we had to wait until 28th February to get our pancake day fix!
Why do we celebrate Shrove Tuesday?
Although we think pancakes should be celebrated every day, Shrove Tuesday is the one day in the year dedicated entirely to this simple but delicious food. Pancakes were originally created as an ingenious way to use up rich foods, such as eggs and sugar, before lent started and most Christians began a 40 day fast in the run up to Easter.
Nowadays people tend to use it as an excuse to indulge in stacks of pancakes without feeling guilty.
What other pancake traditions are there?
The name Shrove Tuesday originates from the tradition for Christians to be “Shriven” which means free from guilt before the start of Lent.
It is thought that even before Christianity Pancake Day could originated from a pagan holiday that celebrated the arrival of spring where eating warm, round pancakes symbolised the sun.
One of the oldest pancake traditions dates back to 1445 and takes place in Olney, Buckinghamshire. On Shrove Tuesday, when the church bell sounds, local housewives race with their pancake and frying pan to the church. This tradition, photographed above, still takes place and has become of the most famous pancake races in the world!
Did you know these pancake facts?
The largest pancake in the world weighed a stonking 6,614 lbs (three tonnes!) and was cooked in Rochdale in 1994. It measured 49 ft and 3 in long. That's the same size as a double decker bus, the residents of Rochdale must have been hungry!
The tallest stack of pancakes recorded is 101.8 cm (3 ft 4 in). It was made by Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, in Rufford last year. James Haywood and Dave Nicholls made and stacked a total of 213 pancakes!
The record for the most people tossing pancakes at the same time is 890. It was achieved at an event organised by the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2012. Over 1,500 people signed up for the event.
Struggle to get the perfect flip on your pancake? A university professor from University College London designed a mathematical formula in 2012 to ensure the perfect flip every time:
L = 4×H /π– D / 2
L is the hand distance from the inner of the pancake
H is the height of flip
D is the diameter of pancake
In an interview with the Telegraph Mathematics Professor Frank Smith said: “There are many factors and risks involved in producing a perfect pancake. We've discovered that the wrong direction or speed, for instance, will mean that the average flipper may ruin two or even more pancakes trying to perfect their technique."
Professor Smith also has a more advanced formula but it looks pretty scary and we prefer the funny mishaps anyway!
What do I need to make pancakes?
Pancakes have three core ingredients that you'll need fully stocked if you're planning a marathon of pancake making for Shrove Tuesday 2018. The basics are eggs, plain flour and milk. Get the recipe and method for our Ultimate pancake. You'll also need a good non-stick frying pan or if you're super serious, you could invest in a specially designed pancake pan.
What are the best recipes for Pancake Day?
Once you've mastered the basic pancake recipe you can pretty much go wild with toppings. A basic pancake mix is one of the easiest and cheapest recipes to make and popular toppings include a squeeze of lemon with sugar or maple syrup. Whether you're more of a sweet or savoury person we&'ve got you covered.
Why not plan a fully loaded pancake menu for the day with breakfast, lunch and dinner all featuring piles of pancake?
Breakfast pancakes are a delicious way to start the day. Topped with crispy bacon and an oozing egg, is there anything better?
Blueberry Scotch pancakes
If you don't have time for a full fry up inspired feast why not try these Blueberry Scotch pancakes?
How do you make fajitas even more fun? Use pancakes instead of wraps of course! These Fajita pancakes make a perfect Pancake Day dinner.
Just the thought of this panoffee stack has our tummies rumbling. An indulgent way to end a day of pancake feasting.
For even more pancake shaped inspiration head over to our pancake page for more pancake recipes.
Can't wait until 13th February? We won't tell anyone if you need to practice a couple of times before the big day!