Today is the last day of carnevale. I just learned that it derives from the Latin expression “carnem levare” which could roughly translate into “give up meat”, in forewarning of the upcoming quaresima, the forty days period in preparation for Easter.
As a I am an awful ignorant, I had no idea there was such a celebration as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake day, a surprising circumstance I have just apprehended reading this extra famous favorite blog.
Apparently, as usual, we are dealing with a pagan feast recycled by Christians and it is a day whereby you’re supposed to make an assessments of good and wrongs and adjust your plans of spiritual growth.
Back to the origins, I actually find quite entertaining the story of Jarilo, the Slav god of fertility and springtime, fighting back the evil winter spirits and needing some pancakes to endure the battle.
If you’re feeling in need of some British comments on how to assemble some pancakes, you could read further here.
For us northeastern Italians, Carnevale is a big party, especially for the children that can wear fancy costumes and walk on the streets throwing confetti on passersby. Grown-ups usually splurge on the special fried confections of the time being. Every Italian region has its traditions; here we like frittelle (sort of smallish donuts) and crostoli (a fried sweet flat dough). Here you can find some recipes.
Obviously, never be fooled by Italian traditions. We are totally strict in having our own personal customs, so there will hardly be any cook or baker that will swear by the same recipe. Hopefully this diversity will survive this sad industrial era.