Barb Rolek, the About Eastern European Food Expert, has the scoop on Poland's Fat Tuesday traditions.
In Italy, Fat Tuesday is known as carnevale-goodbye to meat-from which we get our English word carnival.
Of course, no celebration of Fat Tuesday in the United States would be complete without a nod to our own Mardi Gras Celebration in Louisiana. Kids love pancakes, and Pancake Day is a great way to help introduce your children to the season of Lent and to the idea of fasting. One of the most inconvenient aspects of Fat Tuesday is that, well, it always falls on a Tuesday.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the reason Fat Tuesday is celebrated with so many rich foods is because Christians had to use up their eggs, butter, and milk before Lent started. Now that you have plenty of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday recipes, it's time to turn to Donna Pilato, the About Entertaining Expert, for ideas on how to make your Mardi Gras party a success.


I will of course be taking mad pictures of my food the whole time, but I really want to do a blog post on all the food that other people are eating. That's a reference to clearning out the cupboards of goodies like sugar and eggs before the fasting begins.
On this day, medieval Christians used up their eggs, butter, and milk--all of which were forbidden during their Lenten abstinence—by making pancakes and pastries.Learn more about Fat Tuesday traditions from around the world, and try some of these Fat Tuesday recipes and Mardi Gras recipes at home.
While the Poles and other Eastern Europeans made their own crepe-like pancakes, their preferred method of using up dairy products before Lent was the paczki, a rich donut usually (though not always) filled with jam (usually prune or raspberry).
But Barb has recipes and more on Shrove Tuesday traditions in every other Catholic Eastern European country as well—Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine—as well as the largely Orthodox countries of Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, and Serbia (and you can include Ukraine again, since the country is split between Catholics and Orthodox), which don't celebrate Shrove Tuesday but do have their own celebrations before Orthodox Lent begins on Clean Monday. As you might expect, Stephanie Gallagher, the About Cooking for Kids Expert, has many pancake recipes on her site, as well as tips for making perfect pancakes. But what if you don't normally eat eggs and dairy products-are you out of luck on Mardi Gras?


Donna has both general tips on throwing a Mardi Gras party (including her own selection of recipes) and a detailed plan for creating a Mardi Gras Jazz brunch (including a sample menu with links to recipes). All of them are relatively simple, and they are a great way to remind us that our own Lenten fasting is minor compared with that of Christians in ages past.Would you like to receive meatless Lent recipes delivered to your e-mail inbox every Friday during Lent? Even if you already have your recipes for Fat Tuesday picked out, you'll want to read Barb's account of how country celebrates Shrovetide—the variety of traditions is fascinating! Carnival, as Kyle Phillips, the former About Italian Food Expert, notes, runs for several weeks, and nowhere is it more elaborately celebrated than in Venice. Check out Linda's Fat Tuesday Celebration Menu, which includes crockpot crab spread, sausage and shrimp gumbo, baked rice pilaf, pecan mandarin orange salad, and a tunnel of fudge cake that sounds like it will tide you over through Lent all by itself!



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