Shrove Tuesday, or as it’s more popularly known Mardi Gras, is in less than two weeks! “Fat Tuesday” is traditionally the last day to enjoy rich, indulgent foods before Catholic Lent fasting.
Mardi Gras is celebrated all over the world in many shapes and forms. From the wild parades of New Orleans to Pancake Day in the UK to the pastry decadence in Scandinavia, people everywhere have something to celebrate. Here are some Classic Fat Tuesday Foods and Where to Eat Them:
The King Cake. New Orleans buries itself in thousands of King Cakes come Mardi Gras week. “Les Galettes des Rois” is a jovial pastry, multicolored with yellow, purple and green frosting. Careful when you bite—trinkets are hidden within the dough. It’s said if you find the baby Jesus, you’ll be blessed with good fortune.
Where to Eat it? Rouses Market, 400 N Carrollton Ave. New Orleans. They boast a Super cinnamon-infused king cake and also a succulent cream cheese cake to make your mouth water.
Semla. The Swedish Semla is fortunately enjoyed the whole season just after Christmas time up to Shrove Tuesday. A delicious bun that is filled with almond paste and topped with a hefty spoonful of whipped cream.
Where to Eat It? Vetekatten, Kungsgatan 55, 111 22 Stockholm. Local favorite Vetekatten offers fresh and moist buns that balance with light rich whipped cream.
Pancakes. The British Pancake Day originally popped up as a Pagan festival of Spring. The day is a time to use up all the flour and eggs in your pantry–and also, curiously enough, a day for races and relays all over London town. Look for the high-profile Parliamentary Pancake Race or the Flippin’ Good Pancake races at Greenwich Market.
Where to Eat it? My Old Dutch, 131-132 High Holborn, London. My Old Dutch restaurant is entirely devoted to pancakes and enjoys an annual queue come the holiday (so show up early).
Pączki. A delicious deep-fried pastry that heralds all the way from Poland. The Pączki is usually filled with jam, custard and marmalade and enjoyed by Polish communities all over the world.
Where to Eat it? Racine Bakery, 6216 S Archer Ave, Chicago. Other than Poland, the next best place to find Pączki is the Polish neighborhoods of Chicago. Racine Bakery offers 12 varieties of sweet-filled donuts.
Pea Soup. Iceland’s has appropriately dubbed Fat Tuesday as Sprengidagur, “Bursting Day.” Icelanders feast on pea soup and salted meats, to get their sodium intake in before fasting.
Where to Eat it? Reykjavik IKEA, Kauptún 4, 210 Gardabær. It may seem strange, but the Swedish IKEA store in Reykjavik has a fantastic salt-cured mutton and pea soup meal at just 2 ISK (2 cents) a pop.
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