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It's Flippin' Pancake Day!

Jacqueline Sainsbury / February 12th, 2013

It’s Pancake Tuesday! Known also as Shrove Tuesday to our cousins across the pond, it’s the day before the Roman Catholic Church begins the season of Lent. Communities across the world celebrate today with one last sendoff in the form of Mardi Gras parades, Carnivale celebrations and balls, and by heating a skillet and flippin’ those flapjacks. The tradition of making pancakes before Lent was to use up food that used to be forbidden during Lent, such as eggs and butter. In the Olney, England and its sister city, Liberal, Kansas, pancake races are run to see who is able to successfully toss and flip their cakes in the air before crossing the finish line. Prizes are given based on height, number of flips, number of turns the pancake makes, and time. (The BBC speculates that “the tradition of pancake races was born out of women rushing to church to confess their sins before the noon cut-off time, clutching their half-finished pancakes.”)

The British style of pancakes made for Shrove Tuesday is more closely aligned to a crépe than the American “cake”-styled treat, so Pancake Tuesday sees its fair share of savory and sweet variations alike. Although it’s past breakfast, several of the Food Arts team are getting recipes ready for dinnertime pancake feasts. Although Marion Cunningham’s various recipes from her Breakfast Book remain the all-time classic favorites among many here in the office, here are a few recipes we’re looking at today: