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Flipping out for Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday is approaching and the time for pancakes is nigh. In the Christian tradition pancakes are eaten in advance of the fasting of Lent, to use up food stuffs such as eggs, milk and butter that would be forbidden for the next 40 days. The history of pancakes, however, goes back to the Neolithic era and various forms of them can be found all over the world.

Evidence suggests Otzi the Iceman, whose remains were discovered preserved in the Alps, ate a form of pancake as part of his last meal. The Romans ate them with honey, whilst the Elizabethans enjoyed them with spices, rosewater, sherry and apples. Indian Dosas, pancakes made with rice and black gram flour, are eaten with stews and chutney, meanwhile in Venezuela they use masa (corn flour) to make a pancake that they fill like a sandwich.

With such versatility in the dish there is no need to settle for a simple plain pancake with lemon and sugar this Shrove Tuesday, (although they are delicious that way too). From fluffy American dessert pancakes to savoury French galettes, here are a few ideas to bring to your Shrove Tuesday pancake feast and some drink suggestions to pair with them.

Crepes Suzette paired with English Sparkling Wine – Albourne Estate – Multi Vintage

A spectacular pancake that can light up your evening with a dose of triple sec and some brandy to burn. This boozy little orange-infused crêpe is made much like your standard pancake but with added orange zest and a flambée sauce. My father has always insisted on blowing out the flames to ensure there is still a bit of a kick when he devours his favourite crêpes, but why not just have a glass of something on the side. Below is an easy to follow recipe from Delia, just click the link and its crêpes away.

Traditionally made sparkling wine makes an amazing partner for food. The acidity and bubbles clean the fats off your tongue and its layered flavours combine well with a wide range of dishes. Albourne Estate’s Multi-Vintage English Sparkling Wine is a great companion for this dish with its citrusy notes combining with rich biscuity flavours. Make your Shrove Tuesday feel like an event and light up your evening with flame and fizz.

Buckwheat Crêpes with Eggs and Mushrooms paired with Cider - Rebel Root Ciderworks - Wild Cider

Another French pancake, galettes (buckwheat crêpes) were always a favourite of mine when on holiday in France. I may not be able to head to Brittany for my savoury pancakes but thankfully I can make them myself at home. With a wide range of possible fillings, galettes are a great way to use up food stuffs in the true spirit of Shrove Tuesday. Click below to find a Rick Stein recipe on the Happy Foodie blog.

For me, the best accompaniment for this savoury treat has always been cider. Breton cider is a must when I am in France, but Sussex is also rich with wonderful, locally-made ciders. The fruitiness of cider helps lift the dish and the apple flavour makes a tried and testing pairing with classic fillings such as mushrooms and/or bacon. The talented people over at Rebel Roots make low intervention ciders with wild yeasts and plenty of flavour. Their Wild Cider is citrusy, tart and fresh with bursts of apple, making it the ideal accompaniment for this dish.

Chocolate Chip Blueberry Pancakes Recipe paired with Dessert In A Can - Blueberry Pancake Stack - Amundsen Brewery

My Canadian wife loves making fluffy buttermilk pancakes slathered in butter and maple syrup for breakfast. North American pancake stacks are a fantastic alternative to the slim French crepe, and can be just as versatile. The link below is to the Pip and Debby food blog where Megan Porta has folded chocolate chips and blueberries into her pancake batter to make a luxurious dessert pancake. The link includes a how to make buttermilk tutorial video help make your pancakes super fluffy.

With super sweet pancakes you need lots of sugar in the accompanying drink, to stop it tasting bitter in comparison. Amundsen Brewery’s Blueberry Pancake Stack Dessert in a Can will allow you to effectively double stack your pancakes in the glass and on the plate. This stout will echo the flavours on the plate superbly.

Pork Belly and Cheese Jalapeño Cachapas paired with Sour Beers - Pinazo Sour - Vault City Brewing

Our final pancake recipe is the one I intend on making this Shrove Tuesday. We’re talking spicy pork and cheese wrapped into a pancake sandwich. I love everything about this. Venezuelan Cachapas are made with cornmeal rather than wheat. This version strikes a balance between sweet and savoury that already has me drooling. The recipe I will be using is by Patricia at Food 52, a community that shares and develops amazing recipes.

To partner this sweet, savoury and spicy dish I suggest drinking something sour. Vault City are an Edinburgh brewery specialising in crafting fruit forward modern sour beers. Their pina colada inspired Pinazo Sour carries notes of coconut and pineapple, which will compliment and lift the flavours, and those sour notes will provide a refreshing contrast to the sweet and spice found in these pancakes. A sweet and sour pairing made in pork and pineapple heaven.


by Ed Blacklock


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