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Catholic flap over free flapjacks
February 5, 2008 7:04 AM   Subscribe

There is no word on whether IHOP has asked the Vatican to shift the timing of Lent.

As mentioned previously, today is not only Super Tuesday, but also Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, or...International Pancake Day. IHOP is not a happy camper that the biggest payday in its calendar (when it admittedly not only gives away free pancakes but raises money for charity in the process) has to compete with our pesky American democracy. As they say in their press release: “Super Tuesday, set for February 5, 2008, encroaches upon the centuries-old celebration of Pancake Day, traditionally held the Tuesday preceding Lent to rid iceboxes of forbidden dairy products.” So it decided to thumb its nose at the Catholics and declare next Tuesday "National Pancake Day," even though it's during Lent, which defeats the entire purpose. Except for those whose religion's highest priority is the consumption of free pancakes.
posted by ericbop (77 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't forget the Jif lemon on Jif Lemon Day.
posted by popcassady at 7:07 AM on February 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm just thick, but it seems like Super Tuesday wouldn't interfere that much--your average American is just going to vote and be done with it, and why not go get a free pancake while you're out? In my hometown a civic organization always has a pancake supper on election night, and it's always wildly popular because a lot of people are out anyway and decide to stop for food.

So, if their only reason is "Super Tuesday!" then they're a little off base, I think.
posted by DMan at 7:10 AM on February 5, 2008


Super Fat International Pancake Tuesday.

There. Everyone's happy.
posted by chillmost at 7:12 AM on February 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


How many iceboxes did people have centuries ago?

Anyway, Shrove Tuesday pancakes were never that widespread a tradition, though certainly interesting enough. Like a lot of such traditions, this one came from agrarian Christianized Europe in the Middle Ages. But it's not as though it was something that could be 'encroached' upon, any more than the passel of other Church days of observance coming up in the next several weeks.

Anything to piggyback on some press. It worked on us!
posted by Miko at 7:13 AM on February 5, 2008


They should have it on Wednesday and smear a little maple syrup on everyone's forehead.
posted by bondcliff at 7:14 AM on February 5, 2008 [10 favorites]


Also, dairy is no longer considered "meat" for the purpose of Lenten abstention from meat (as it once was), and the prohibition on meat is now only on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent anyway, not the entirety of Lent, as it used to be.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:15 AM on February 5, 2008


It's OK--they'll be serving Pope pancakes.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:15 AM on February 5, 2008


Mefites were quite silent when International Side of Bacon and Pork Sausage Links Day coincided with Yom Kippur last year.
posted by elmwood at 7:33 AM on February 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Jif Lemon Day
posted by Daddy-O at 7:33 AM on February 5, 2008


Well, I'm going to eat some pancakes on February 12th, then. I don't think the Pope will mind. Especially since I'm not Catholic. Oh, and that Pope pancake looks...well, suspiciously sharp and clear to me. Willowy lines and strange swirls can happen naturally, but that cross is awfully suspect.
posted by misha at 7:34 AM on February 5, 2008


*starts doing math*

(Muttering)... Pancakes plus Catholics, carry the two, religion... Jesus... multiply by three, over Easter... super tuesday... divide by the sum of the Pope...

*wipes forehead*

Ok, I can't be sure, but if my calculations are correct, somehow a bunny is involved here. And if I'm reading this properly, we need to put pancakes on it's head.

I know it's counter intuitive, but the numbers seem to demonstrate that this is the only logical course of action.
posted by quin at 7:39 AM on February 5, 2008 [10 favorites]


When I was youngish, I worked at a hot dog place (Der Wienerschnitzel) in a Catholic area. Our sales went way down on Ash Wednesday. I remember the supervisor scowling demonically and saying, "I hope someday to live in a world where people are free of their meat-eating superstitions." I also remember him lying to patrons who asked if the meat was kosher, "for their own good."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:41 AM on February 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


We're having ginger pancakes tonight for dinner. Yum!

Also, the local fast food places seem to be advertising their fish sandwiches all of a sudden. Places like Arby's and Wendy's. Coincidence? I think not.
posted by jquinby at 7:43 AM on February 5, 2008


Benedict's already crafting a bull "Coeli et terrae et laganum assus" (The heavens and the lands and the griddle cakes), excommunicating both the Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n' Fruity and Vive La French Toast. He also doesn't explicitly ask God to "nuke the franchise from orbit", but says such an act would be agreeable to the Church.
posted by kickback at 7:46 AM on February 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


My god doesn't give a shit whether I eat pancakes today, tomorrow and never. Yours shouldn't either.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:46 AM on February 5, 2008


Pancakes compete with democracy? I had no idea.
posted by 3.2.3 at 7:47 AM on February 5, 2008


Today's Shrove Tuesday? Lent has started? Really? Oh man, I'm such a badly lapsed Catholic. I'm going to a hell I no longer believe in for missing that.
posted by maudlin at 7:49 AM on February 5, 2008


Whoops -- Lent actually starts tomorrow on "Hey, you've got something on your face. Let me wipe it off for you" Wednesday.

*plunges deeper into non-existent flames for messing that up the first time*
posted by maudlin at 7:51 AM on February 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I always thought it was more about getting rid of leftover fat and sugar. How exactly would you even eliminate dairy and eggs from diets during the Lenten season? As Miko points out, it's not like people were storing these items for long periods anyhow. If you owned a cow (or goat) and chickens, they would continue to produce regardless of your religious obligation. Did people make cheese during Lent?

/pedant

Anyway, the thing I like about living in a succession of Polish neighborhoods is that Pancake Day is also Paczki day.

Like I need another excuse to eat donuts.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:51 AM on February 5, 2008


Sod the pancakes - even with Jif Lemon - its Carnival time in Rio
posted by rongorongo at 8:02 AM on February 5, 2008


I'm not sure how I missed "International Side of Bacon and Pork Sausage Links Day", but I am not happy about it. Is there some sort of mailing list I can subscribe to, so that I don't deprive myself in the future?
posted by friendlyjuan at 8:22 AM on February 5, 2008


Did people make cheese during Lent?

You know what they say, "Blessed are the cheesemakers."

/wendell
posted by Miko at 8:29 AM on February 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


"for they will be called the sons of Gouda"?
posted by pineapple at 8:33 AM on February 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


My god doesn't give a shit whether I eat pancakes today

You're going to feel awfully silly when you get your belated Mardi Gras present. Remember to thank God before you flush it.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:34 AM on February 5, 2008


My god doesn't give a shit whether I eat pancakes today, tomorrow and never. Yours shouldn't either.


My God only cares that I stuff my face full of latkes on Chanukkah. But I observe Pancake Day in the spirit of pancake pluralism (Eggo egalitarianism?)
posted by ericbop at 8:36 AM on February 5, 2008


Free pancakes? Screw my diet. I actually foam at the mouth sometimes at the mere hint of pancakes with blueberry syrup.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:44 AM on February 5, 2008


And it's such a delightfully bluish-purple foam.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:51 AM on February 5, 2008


It's OK--they'll be serving Pope pancakes.

Heh, I thought that was going to be a pancake rolled into the shape of a mitre and pinned with a toothpick. They should do that, it would be cute. Unless someone choked on the toothpick.
posted by XMLicious at 8:51 AM on February 5, 2008


Vermont is the only state in the US without an IHOP. I blame the strong maple lobby.
posted by jessamyn at 8:52 AM on February 5, 2008


Everyday should be pancake day... I'm like a pancake master, got my own secret recipe for the batter and do proper flipping and everything. And Jif!? It's freshly squeezed lemon juice all the way.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:59 AM on February 5, 2008


Vermont is the only state in the US without an IHOP. I blame the strong maple lobby.

Eh, I'm still depressed over the absence of WaHo in the north.
posted by jmd82 at 9:07 AM on February 5, 2008


Happy Paczki Day!

Damn, what a bunch of heathens.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:19 AM on February 5, 2008


Sorry I just don't get it.

They're worried people won't eat their horrible pancakes because they have to take 5 minutes out their day to vote?

What exactly is the conflict here?
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 9:21 AM on February 5, 2008


And I don't think peanut butter should have lemon in it, by the way.
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 9:23 AM on February 5, 2008


also Paczki day

Driving 'round town last night, I noticed that somebody had a box of those on the rear deck of his car, prominently visible thru its rear window...kind of a 'Hey, I'm Polish and it's (nearly) Lent!" (I would've liked to have hummed some Lenten carols but can't think of any.)

Oh, and IHOP's pumpkin pancakes around Hallowe'en season aren't half bad.
posted by pax digita at 9:31 AM on February 5, 2008


Good luck with imposing your false pancake day on us, Cultural Imperialist House Of Pancakes.
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on February 5, 2008


Vermont is the only state in the US without an IHOP.

Canada & Mexico are the only countries in the world with an IHOP, other than the US.

I guess that *just* qualifies as international.

Not that I'm complaining, though. If they're anything like the quality of Starbucks or Krispy Kreme or any number of other chains & franchises that have only recently passed quarantine here, I doubt we're missing much.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:44 AM on February 5, 2008


Super Fat International Pancake Tuesday.

There. Everyone's happy.



i like the sound of this much better: International Super Fat Pancake Tuesday.

'cause i loves me some fat pancakes.

boom chicka chicka chicka boom boom
posted by CitizenD at 9:47 AM on February 5, 2008


Bah, IHOP is crap with shite pankcakes. Golden Griddle used to be awesome, but something happened to their quality some years back.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:48 AM on February 5, 2008


Mardi Gras also has another meaning down under, which Catholics often find a bit more against the spirit of lent than just a pancake or two.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:51 AM on February 5, 2008


Except for those whose religion's highest priority is the consumption of free pancakes.

Ha! Finally!

(Definitely Pancakeist)
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:53 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm gathering from the comments that there's some sort of connection between pancakes and lemon juice, but I can't imagine what it is. Do Brits put lemon juice on pancakes?
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:54 AM on February 5, 2008


Yes. And it goes very well, though generally on the thinner, crispier kind of pancake. Certainly nothing that IHOP does.
posted by Artw at 9:58 AM on February 5, 2008


(I do quite like the pumkin ones though.)
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on February 5, 2008


Lemon juice is for crepes, which while they belong in the pancake family, aren't really what is meant by 'pancake'.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:00 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Says you, cultural imperialist scumbag.
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've only ever had lemon juice on pancakes with copious amounts of powdered sugar. That works pretty well even on a thick pancake.
posted by kickback at 10:03 AM on February 5, 2008


1. Chocolate chocolate chip pancakes with powdered sugar TOTALLY ruled my ten year-old world.
2. Whomever named the "Rooty Tooty Fresh & Fruity" (now even more super!) needs to be slapped.

That is all.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:03 AM on February 5, 2008


Speaking of shite pancakes, once when I was in the UK I saw some pre-cooked in a package on the shelf. I had to buy some and stack them in between two canned German cheeseburgers to contrive a pale imitation of an American-style meal.
posted by XMLicious at 10:03 AM on February 5, 2008


Why not just go to McDonalds?
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on February 5, 2008


Lemon juice is for crepes, which while they belong in the pancake family, aren't really what is meant by 'pancake'.

This makes more sense if you understand that when Americans say "pancake" they really mean "slightly large pikelet".

But yes, lemon juice & sugar are awesome on the international crepe-style pancakes.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:09 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love me some IHOP regardless of what some snooty Australians say. But even better than pancakes is the awesome majesty of the waffle.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:09 AM on February 5, 2008


Did someone say pancakes?
Best pancake music video ever.
Mmmm. Now, what's all this about an IHOP? Some Egyptian king or another, amirite?
posted by not_on_display at 10:19 AM on February 5, 2008


Once when I was probably around eight or nine we went to a local family restaurant where they were featuring a single pancake meal for the evening. I couldn't believe it, one single pancake? As the order was brought to the table I found myself staring at a pancake the size of a hubcap. A very old gentlemen across the aisle noticed my astonishment, rose from his booth and walked over to our table. He bet me a fifty cent piece I couldn't eat the whole thing, and this was a major distinction to me at the time - not two quarters, a fifty cent piece! Now the stakes were raised, it wasn't just me versus the enormous plate of carbs, this old man was hedging his bets on the side of the flapjack. That burned me up good, and I took that pancake down in record time and got my fifty cent piece. I don't even think IHOP has boysenberry syrup, so they're off the list of places where this awesome feat could be restaged, Lent or not. I remember when the kind of crappy but good at 3AM w/ coffee and cigarettes in tow Village Inn used to bring out a little carrying cart with all the flavors (6?) of syrup, that was so awesome. Now you have to remember which one you like and ask for the server to bring it out with your meal, unbelievable injustice.
posted by prostyle at 10:29 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


When they stopped serving buckwheat pancakes they bacame dead to me.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:30 AM on February 5, 2008


*became*
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:30 AM on February 5, 2008


Happy Fastnacht Day!
posted by jrossi4r at 10:34 AM on February 5, 2008


Why not just go to McDonalds?

Actually, I can believe that a UK McDonalds would serve something like that. The approach of the fast food restaurants over there often seems to be to mix any few American-sounding foods together. “Let's see... a chicken patty... a hash brown... and bacon! On a bun.” Spam pizza? Eucch.

Granted, in the US it's not that much more aesthetically sophisticated. But American fast food has a certain je ne sais barf to it that is all its own.
posted by XMLicious at 10:47 AM on February 5, 2008


prostyle, was it perchance the near-mythical Dutch Baby you were challenged to consume?

I have a dear friend who blames this treat for his adult-onset diabetes.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:51 AM on February 5, 2008


I don't even think IHOP has boysenberry syrup. . . . Now you have to remember which one you like and ask for the server to bring it out with your meal
Wikipedia's account aligns with what I remember from recent experience:
Each table has its own sugar boat and the four of the following flavors of syrup dispensers: blueberry, boysenberry, butter pecan, and strawberry. There is also service of warm maple-flavored syrup, brought out with every meal with pancakes/waffles.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:52 AM on February 5, 2008


I don't even think IHOP has boysenberry syrup

prostyle, IHOP does indeed have boysenberry syrup, along with butter pecan, blueberry, strawberry, and plain ol' maple. Happy Eating!

As for the Fat Tuesday/Super Tuesday conflict, I've got the perfect solution. I'm voting for a stack of pancakes. McCain v.s. a stack of pancakes. Or Obama v.s a stack of pancakes. Or a stack of pancakes v.s. another stack of pancakes. Running mates: bacon or sausage? The field is narrowing, people!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:01 AM on February 5, 2008


Hmm, no Dutch Baby although that is a pretty righteous looking dish!

Thank you for the reference MrMoonPie, how foolish of me to assume boysenberry could possibly be snubbed by such an institution.
posted by prostyle at 11:02 AM on February 5, 2008


Mr.MoonPie beat me to it.

"Moon Pie... what an age we live in."

*dunks head in boysenberry syrup in atonement*
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:07 AM on February 5, 2008


I meant, of course, "Moon Pie... what a time to be alive."

*drowns self in syrup*
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:11 AM on February 5, 2008


Except for those whose religion's highest priority is the consumption of free pancakes.

I'm sensing the first Pastafarian heresy coming on.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:14 AM on February 5, 2008


Why not just go to McDonalds?

It shames me to admit this, but it is my highly informed opinion that McDonald's hotcakes are the best chain-restaurant pancakes around. Behold the throw-back styrofoam container!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:29 AM on February 5, 2008


Pancake drama!!!!
posted by likesuchasand at 11:32 AM on February 5, 2008


And the Lord said, "Thou shalt always be beholden to corporate sponsors, for in their infinite wisdom, My Laws are always bendable due to Capitalism. And it was good."

Upon hearing the News, the Apostles inscribed the Law to be Truth - all American companies would be absolved in their deviation from His Word, so that the people could share in their goodness. It was later decreed, by the prophets, that Spam would not receive the absolution - all people must still eat filet-of-fish sandwiches on Fridays during Lent.

And it was greed, I mean, Good.
posted by Chuffy at 11:34 AM on February 5, 2008


Ahem -- Filet O'Fish. (Unlike the heathen Scotch-Irish Protestant rest-of-menu, the fish sandwich is a good Irish Catholic.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:40 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fatuous.
posted by Cranberry at 12:52 PM on February 5, 2008


Catholicism in a nutshell:
Pope: “Today is pancake day.”
Laity: “Woo hoo! Pancakes! Let’s eat pancakes!”
Pope: “Today we don’t eat meat.”
Laity: yeah, uh, whatever

Srsly tho - who can argue when there’s pancakes around? Instead of tear gas riot cops should deliver pancakes to rioters. Pancakes should be served during tense contract negotiations and diplomatic talks. The problem with the middle east? You got it, not enough pancakes.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:33 PM on February 5, 2008


True Smedleyman, but I can see the inevitable breakdown in negotiations when the subject of maple versus blueberry syrup comes up.

You think you've seen violence based on religious, political, or ideological differences? I say we haven't seen anything yet.

Veterans will speak in hushed tones of the Flapjacks Wars back in the Oughts. And they will pour a half measure of syrup onto the ground, for their fallen brothers in arms who died while running into the storm of linked sausage fire.
posted by quin at 1:52 PM on February 5, 2008


Pancakes, schmancakes. There are better ways to consume copious amounts of sugar and fat pre-Lent -- I refer to, of course, the Swedish Lenten bun, or semla. Think of a cream puff, but stuffed with marzipan in addition to fresh whipped cream. I miss them SO much.

Traditionally, they're only supposed to be eaten today, Shrove Tuesday, but Swedish bakeries start selling them right after New Year's these days, it seems. I wonder if they're all ticked off about Super Tuesday in the U.S. too... or at that pesky IHOP and its infernal Pancake Day!
posted by kebnabi at 3:05 PM on February 5, 2008


“I can see the inevitable breakdown in negotiations when the subject of maple versus blueberry syrup comes up.”

I think it’d be more over the side dishes and logistics than the actual pancakes.
“Don’t you DARE let the syrup touch the eggs you son of a BITCH!”
“whoa, whoa gentlemen, we all like pancakes here....”
“He’s hiding sausage under the pancakes, how can you trust him?”
*whipped cream explodes*
“AHHHH!”
*chaos ensues*

....But yeah, I can see that.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:15 PM on February 5, 2008


1. Chocolate chocolate chip pancakes with powdered sugar TOTALLY ruled my ten year-old world.

YEEESSSS!!!!!!!

IHOP chocolate chip pancakes are so goddamn good they transubstantiate.
posted by Tube at 4:48 PM on February 5, 2008


Growing in the Presbyterian church (in the U.S.), we had a Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner every year, instead of the usual monthly potluck. I had no idea what it meant, but just the fact that we were eating pancakes for dinner made me actually want to go to church.
posted by zardoz at 5:23 PM on February 5, 2008


I just spent four hours on my feet making literally hundreds of pancakes for my children's catholic school. Funny enough, most of the children had no idea why they were having pancakes or the traditional idea of giving up something for lent. The kids were on a sugar high from all the maple syrup and enjoyed the mari gras decorations. My daughter asked me what I was giving up for lent and I said being a mother. She followed me home anyways. I didn't have a chance to have a pancake today so I am going to make some for breakfast tomorrow. But reading about the flavoured syrups are making me crave them!
posted by saucysault at 7:13 PM on February 5, 2008


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