While they're celebrating Fat Tuesday in New Orleans today, the Brits are celebrating Shrove Tuesday or as it is affectionately called Pancake Day. I was unaware that this day existed until I had lunch with some friends who were discussing pancake toppings. It was decided that I would go over to my friend Jennie's house for a pancake party.
The first thing I learned about British pancakes is they are nothing like the hearty American flapjacks that many of us are used to. They are much more like crepes. In fact, I'm convinced that they are crepes-just by a different name. They are about the same thickness and texture. We ate our pancakes with a variety of toppings; cinnamon and sugar, sugar and lemon, peanut butter, and chocolate spread. Other suggested toppings I heard today included stewed apples and crushed Cadbury cream eggs.
One Pancake Day tradition that we did not take part in was a pancake flipping contest. That just seemed like asking for trouble in Jennie's small kitchen and five people. I would rate Pancake Day as a much calmer tradition than the shenanigans of New Orleans's Fat Tuesday. But it is still a very tasty tradition and may, at least in part, follow me home.