WHY DO WE CELEBRATE PANCAKE DAY?
Tuesday 21st February is Shrove Tuesday- AKA Pancake Day! A delicious day that we always celebrate here at Hilltop- we flippin’ love a sweet (or savoury) pancake toss at this time of year! But what exactly is Shrove Tuesday, and why do we celebrate with pancakes? Not that we’re complaining, of course!
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter and is a traditional ‘feast day’ before Lent begins the following day, on Ash Wednesday. Lent is the period of time during which Christians traditionally fast; these days we tend to choose just one thing to give up temporarily before Easter. For most, that’s chocolate, but we’re not sure how many actually stick with it for the whole duration!
So why pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?
Shrove Tuesday was originally seen as an opportunity to use up left over eggs and fats before the Lenten fast- and pancakes seemed like the perfect dish to feast on. We couldn’t agree more!
Pancake Day around the world
It’s not just us here in the UK who get the frying pans out for some flippin’ great food on Pancake Day- although we might be the only nation who still hold traditional pancake races?! Around the world, Pancake Day is celebrated in a variety of different ways, some of which might surprise you.
In Denmark, the last Sunday before Lent is called Fastenlavn. On this day, toy shops and bakeries fill their shelves with toy cats, wooden barrels and freshly baked buns filled with cream, jam and chocolate. They even have a Danish piñata filled with sweets for a proper feast before lent!
In Canada, pancakes are eaten on Shrove Tuesday- but with a twist. Alongside the delicious maple syrup, they love to drizzle, Canadians also hide small objects such as buttons and coins in their pancakes, thought to bring good luck to whoever finds them. Sweet!
And if you’re looking for a real feisty celebration, head to Spain. Here, the festival starts on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, with Dia De La Tortilla- literally translated as Day of the Omelette. Yes, the Spanish eat omelettes on Pancake Day, and they do it as a community in the town square for a proper knees up!
MAKING THE PERFECT PANCAKE.
So, whether you’re going for a combination of other practices from around the world, or you’re sticking to the traditional British Pancake Day, the fact remains: you need to know how to make a pancake!
So, make sure you’ve got plenty of eggs, plain flour, milk and butter. Oh, and a non-stick frying pan, plus toppings too. Toppings are key!
Traditionally, you’ll find lemon juice and sugar on top of pancakes here in the UK, but this year we want to challenge you to try something a little different…
Ditch the sugar and go for a healthier alternative instead. That way you can eat more pancakes without the guilt! Of course, we LOVE drizzling our gorgeous Hilltop Honey over pancakes, but we have to say that our friends over there in Canada have the right idea with maple syrup too. Our Very Dark Maple Syrup is just delicious on pancakes!
Or why not get really creative this year? Bananas, raspberries, blueberries, Carob Syrup (great option for vegans), peanut butter… so many different ways to make your pancake pop this year! Experiment with toppings and let us know what your favourite flavour combo is!
HAVE A PANCAKE PARTY!
Not many of us can resist pancakes- for such a simple recipe, they really do have something special, don’t they? So why not throw a pancake party this year? Yes, it’s a thing. Or at least it should be!
Get your friends over, take turns to toss the pancakes, set up a toppings station. You can even add a dash of Baileys to some whipped cream and finish with a spoonful of our Manuka Honey, or some whiskey to our Dark Maple Syrup for a special- adults only!- treat. Go wild. Why not?
Great pancake recipes to try with friends.
Try our delicious Tangy Pancakes- a savoury twist on the traditional sweet offering, with just a drizzle of Amber Maple Syrup to bring it all together. This one is perfect with some really good strong Welsh cheddar.
We also love our Organic Quinoa Pancakes, made with a scoop of protein powder to turn them into the perfect pre/post workout snack for Pancake Day. And if you like the sound of these, then you’ll love our Raspberry and Oatmeal pancakes too- these are made with almond milk, with a dash of cinnamon and a drizzle of Hilltop Honey. Amazing!
We also recommend using our new Manuka Honey Energy gel as a great topper, perfect for starting your workout right- let us know what you think.
PANCAKE DAY WITH KIDS.
Kids love pancakes too. Of course, they do! So, this year, let them get involved in the preparation and cooking. Pancake batter is so easy to make, and as long as you supervise, much fun can be had trying to flip them too.
Use different shaped cutters to make a variety of fun pancakes. Let your little ones prepare and choose their own toppings- fresh strawberries, sprinkles, chopped bananas. Make sweet pancakes pizzas, or savoury cheesy pancakes. You could pour the batter into a squeezy bottle and make different shapes too.
And don’t worry about needing to spend loads either. Most supermarkets have the basics for pancakes to help you keep the costs down. Keep it simple but keep it fun. Have a competition to see who can flip their pancake the highest, or who can make the best pancake overall. Great fun!
Pancake recipes to try with kids.
Our tried and tested Perfect Pancake recipe never fails. It’s so easy to make and a really great way to introduce kids to the versatility of pancakes too. Because the batter for these pancakes is so simple- just eggs, flour, milk, coconut oil- it leaves so much room for a variety of fun and interesting toppings!
Try our Blueberry and Honey Pancakes, or our Cut Comb Honey and Banana pancakes for the slightly more adventurous. Kids also love choosing their own toppings for pancakes, so let them go wild! We love our simple Everyday Blossom Honey for hitting the spot every time, but you might want to go for the classic Canadian combo of Maple Syrup and bacon? You might be surprised just how much the kids love it!
Whatever you do this Pancake Day-enjoy! And let us know your favourite creations too.