What is a “Shrove” anyhow?
My muse suggested a blog about pancakes would be in order.
Well best-beloved*… this is sort of that blog.
(*to coin Rudyard Kipling & who does that these days?)
HOW THE PANCAKE GOT ITS MAPLE SYRUP
Some like them with lemon & sugar, some prefer the fancy-pants toppings from the creperie. But for me, pancakes have got to be served up with maple syrup. So, how did mankind acquire the taste for maple syrup (answering without looking it up on Wikipedia)?
Well, let’s not assume that some fellow was walking through the mighty forests of North America, saw a tree and wondered “What does that taste like?” before taking a chomp at the trunk. For in that direction, friend, lies broken teeth.
No, let’s presume instead our gastronaut saw insects feasting on the golden liquid seeping from that tree & decided to have a try. Two things may have crossed his mind:
1) I hope this isn’t actually diabetic bear pee…
2) Those red leaves would make a dandy national emblem (see the upcoming story “How the Canadians got their flag”…)
He tried. He liked. And pancakes would never be the same again.
The history of food
throws up raises many questions. It’s easy to see how milk came into the diet, eggs too up to a point. But would we be eating mushrooms if we’d failed miserably with toadstools?
But to me the great mystery is this. Who was it who picked a grain of wheat, chewed on it and thought “Well, this isn’t ideal. But if I ground it, not with my teeth but on stone turning it into a powder. And I add water to that making it a lump of stuff which I then put in the fire… I’m pretty sure I can make a staple food for me, my family and whoever. Maybe thousands of years from now, my descendants can make it the centrepiece of a ten week series on BBC Two”…
And that, best beloveds, is the story of “How the Great British got their Bake Off”.