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The calendars say, depending on what part of the world you are from, that it is “Fat Tuesday”, “Mardi Gras”, “Shrove Tuesday” or “Pancake Tuesday” today. Having grown up in a predominantly Irish household, I know the Tuesday (today) before the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday (tomorrow), as Pancake Tuesday. So following tradition, pancakes are the highlight of the day. They are not only yummy and comforting, they have been around for quite some time. Here are a few fun facts:

  1. Archaeological evidence suggests that pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies

  2. The Oxford English Dictionary records the word flapjack as being used as early as the beginning of the 17th century, referring to a flat tart or pan-cake.

  3. The terms pancake and flapjack are often confused and today in the US are nearly synonymous.

  4. A flapjack is a thick small pancake, generally around 10 cm in diameter. Flapjacks are often served in a stack with syrup and butter, which can be accompanied by bacon or sausages.

  5. Shakespeare refers to pancakes in All's Well That Ends Well and to flap-jacks in Pericles, Prince of Tyre: "Come, thou shant go home, and we'll have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days, and moreo'er puddings and flap-jacks, and thou shalt be welcome."Act II Scene I

  6. German pancakes or Dutch baby pancakes are bowl-shaped. They are eaten with lemons and powdered sugar, jam, fresh fruit or caramelized apples.

  7. In Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, pancakes are traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as "Pancake Day" and, particularly in Ireland and Scotland, as "Pancake Tuesday". (Shrove Tuesday is better known in the United States, France and other countries as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday). Pancake Tuesday is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Historically, pancakes were made on Shrove Tuesday so that the last of the fatty and rich foods such as eggs, milk and sugar could be used up before fasting began at the start of Lent.

Need a recipe for a Dutch baby; blueberry lemon pancakes or bourbon-infused Kentucky hoecakes? Just email me, Pamela Byrne Riley, at and I will be delighted to share my recipes with you!

Charred Oaks Inn is an upscale bed and breakfast located near Lexington, Kentucky and is open year round. Their four guest suites are spacious, quiet and uniquely decorated with four-poster king-size beds and private en suite bathrooms. A made-to-order breakfast is included and the menu changes daily to celebrate the Kentucky seasons. Breakfast is served from 8:00AM – 10:00AM in the inn’s dining room or you may request breakfast in bed. Should you need an earlier time for breakfast, we ask for advance notice so we can accommodate your needs.

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