British Columbia

Griddle me this: The origins of Shrove Tuesday and pursuing the perfect pancake

In Commonwealth countries like Canada, pancakes are the indulgence of choice, meaning the day is also commonly known as Pancake Tuesday.

Day is celebrated by Christians around the world as the last feast before Lent

In Commonwealth countries like Canada, pancakes are the indulgence of choice on Shrove Tuesday. (Photo: David Bagosy, Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

It's Shrove Tuesday, a day of forgiveness and feasting on pancakes.

The Christian tradition takes place on a different date each year, depending on when Easter falls.

Its origins can be traced back centuries: "shrive" is an archaic verb that means to hear a confession.

Those confessions were then followed by a feast before the start of Lent — the six-week period of fasting and abstaining that leads up to Easter.  

Indulgence of choice

In Commonwealth countries like Canada, pancakes are the indulgence of choice, meaning the day is also commonly known as Pancake Tuesday.

That means brisk business for diners like Jethro's Fine Grub in Vancouver, which is renowned for its plate-sized pancakes.

Co-owner D'arcy Allen says Jethro's recipe is a "pretty basic buttermilk pancake mix" — but the real secret to a perfect pancake is in the toppings.

"We kick it up a notch with all the ingredients that go on the side," he told CBC's Rohit Joseph.

Jethro's Fine Grub is famous for their huge pancakes, with a variety of different toppings. (Jethro's Fine Grub/Facebook)

"In the Gold Rush pancake [for example], it's pecans, banana and cobbler topping. And then it also gets garnished with caramel topping and whipped butter."

Definitely an indulgence worthy of six weeks of fasting.

In other countries, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) with parades and treats.

With files from Rohit Joseph and The Early Edition

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