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February 24, 2020

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, and, for hundreds of years, Brits have marked the day by scoffing pancakes.

It is an old Christian tradition. In the 40-day run-up to Easter people would try to give up a pleasure such as chocolate, alcohol or meat. Shrove Tuesday was a final blow-out before doing penance by denying yourself something you enjoyed.

Eating pancakes was and is a good way to use up rich foods such as eggs, butter and sugar.

Different countries celebrate this period of the calendar in different ways and gorging on pancakes is one of the more tame.

The Icelanders eat salted meat and peas while the Estonians tuck into pea soup and cream-filled buns.

Mardi Gras

The Hungarians might indulge in a little fancy dress while the Venetians traditionally hold their carnival. Most famously, Brazil has its colourful Mardi Gras processions.

It's a bit chilly to be parading down Sauchiehall Street in a sparkly bikini and feathery headgear so we will stick with flipping a few pancakes.

Maple from Canada commissioned a survey of 2000 people to chew over their pancake habits.

Apparently, one in five of us will buy pre-made batter for our pancakes but 64 per cent will try to make their pancakes from scratch.

On average, Brits will devour more than three pancakes per sitting - and make only as many as they can eat – with just a single pancake left over per household.

The crepe-style pancake is the nation’s preferred type, with 56 per cent of Brits favouring this over the fluffy, thicker American version.

The study also revealed the classic topping combination of lemon and sugar is the most popular, followed by maple syrup and chocolate spread – with bacon voted the best savoury option.  

Mylène Denicolaï, from Maple from Canada, which commissioned the survey, said: 'The noble pancake has become a favourite for all every February when Shrove Tuesday arrives.

'It’s most definitely a way to get the whole family involved in a timeless activity - and who doesn’t love attempting to perfectly land a pancake in the pan?'

To toss or not to toss?

Eight in 10 questioned believe there’s no other way to turn your pancake other than tossing it in the air from the pan.

When the pancake flipping goes wrong, nearly 40 per cent of pancakes find their final resting place on the floor, rather than the plate.

If you want some pancake advice, this is the former Great British Bake off contestant Manon Lagrève making crêpe Bretonne with maple salted caramel and apples.

And if you fancy pancakes but don't want to make your own, you might think about heading to the Forth Floor Brasserie at Harvey Nicks in Edinburgh.

Running until tomorrow (25 Feb), they are offering all-you-can-eat American-style pancakes at £12.50 per person.

The brasserie is partnering with StreetSmart, a charity fundraising for the homeless through the support of top restaurants across the UK. Guests will be able to add a £1 donation to their order which will go directly to the charity.