Ancient Art of Pancake Making Being Lost as Brits Go For Easy Option

8 Mar 2011

Brits are losing the ancient art of pancake making and are ‘cheating’ with easier ready made options, latest sales figures can reveal.

Brits are losing the ancient art of pancake making and are ‘cheating’ with easier ready made options, latest sales figures can reveal.

Instead of making them from scratch and traditionally tossing them in a pan increasing numbers of Brits are buying pre-made pancakes and mixes.

Over the last five years the number of Brits ‘cheating’ on Shrove Tuesday has doubled and this year alone an estimated 15 million ready made pancakes or pancake mixes are expected to be sold across all UK retailers.

At Tesco demand for ready made pancakes and mixes alone for the event tomorrow is expected to hit the five million mark with the top seller likely to be a pancake shaker to which users only have to add water.

Said Tesco spokesman Trevor Datson: “For centuries Brits prided themselves with their pancake tossing abilities on Shrove Tuesday and in every town and village there would be a greatly heralded pancake race.

"However, the great tradition of pancake making and tossing soon looks like being consigned to history as nowadays society tries to make everything simpler.

"Judging by sales more and more people now rather just heat up a ready made pancake rather than risk making a mess in the kitchen."

It’s all a far cry from the Middle Ages when the ceremony of pancake making is believed to have started - as a prelude to the religious festival of Lent when people fasted for 40 days.

In order to clear the larder of perishable foods, items such as eggs and milk were used to create one last rich meal before the fast began and making pancakes were an easy and quick way of using up these perishable goods.

In other countries the day became known as Fat Tuesday because of the nature of the rich food that was eaten then.

In France, Fat Tuesday translates as Mardi Gras which is the name for the best known celebration of this day taking place in New Orleans.

Pancakes themselves feature in recipes as far back as 1439 while the earliest mention of a pancake race dates back to 1445, at Olney in Buckinghamshire.

Added Tesco’s Trevor Datson: “Culinary experts believe that fast food culture which grew up over here in the 80s plus longer working hours are to blame for our reluctance to continue old cooking traditions.

"In particular the rise of French-style crepes stands in market places and high quality creperies with ever increasing exotic ingredients in our high streets have also lessened the appeal of home made pancakes."

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For more information please contact Mike Baess on 01992 646079
or Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645.