Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras-Fat Tuesday-Fastnacht

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, Shrove Day, Fastnacht, 
it's all to celebrate the last day before Lent which begins with Ash Wednesday.
Mardi Gras literally means 'Fat Tuesday" in French. The roots lie in the Christian tradition to feast on the day before Lent and use up the fat, eggs, and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins. It's the 'last hurrah' and pancakes are often served. That's where the name of my (Fat) Tuesday Pancakes came from. I adapted the recipe found in an old New Orleans church cookbook.
Picture above with recipe link.
Today I'm making German Kreppel.
Here they are on my Mother's old glass 
pedestal cake plate, waiting to be devoured.

The German tradition is to make Kreppel for Fastnacht (Fasting Eve). Kreppel are a type of German donut. It's a yeast dough that is left to rise then rolled and cut into circles and left to rise again. Then they are fried in hot oil until puffy and golden.
They are removed from the pan and drained on paper towels. 
Then rolled while still warm in sugar.... 
and eaten right away.
 Kreppel are very similar to French Biegnets, that are so popular in New Orleans. Sometimes they are filled with jam, but we preferred them the traditional way with just a light sugar coating. They are light as clouds.

 My Mother and my Aunt in Germany would always make them on Fastnacht Day
 and everyone would wait patiently for one to be just cool enough to handle and eat.
 In Germany, family and friends always stop by my Aunt's house on that Tuesday  knowing that she would be making lots of Kreppel and the coffee pot was full.
It's fascinating how this tradition shows up in these variations all over the world.
So on Fat Tuesday have yourself a plate of pancakes or a coffee with a donut if that's your pleasure and carry on the tradition.
I love food traditions. Don't you?

The recipe has been posted on Rita's Recipes .
(as soon as I licked the sugar off my fingers!)

Links: A Stroll Thru Life, Coastal Charm


  1. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm... these look tres bon! wishing you a great Fat Tuesday...!! xo HHL

  2. Dear Rita May, I'm loving your Kreppels, I eat them twice a year in the international food festival for the Cancer Society and at my friend's Eva's birthday, she's also from a German background like you. I have a great recipe too and the pancakes are yummy too! Wish I wasn't on a diet! Anyway, I can look, right? Wow, I didn't know that Mardi Gras meant Fat Tuesday in French! Have a terrific week.

  3. Those Kreppels look scrumptious! Great post!!

  4. That was interesting! I had wondered about the pancake tradition. We are so into the Mexican traditions (we live on the border with Mexico) and Italian traditions because of my heritage.
    I'm serving French toast in the morning since my son is visiting from Mexico and that is his favorite. But we'll be observing Lent for sure!
    Looking forward to the recipe.
    Ladybug Creek

  5. I have never had these but they look awesome! You have me hungry! XO, Pinky

  6. Yummy...is all I can say!!! Thank you for sharing them at Nifty Thrifty Tuesday:)


  7. Now I'm homesick and hungry.. wow. I hadn't thought of those in years. I'll have to make some this weekend! thanks for sharing.. xo marlis

  8. How delicious looking! I love your traditions! Our family doesn't really have any. I've decided to make some of my own, so today I made jambalaya! I think it will be our "Fat Tuesday" meal from now on!!!

  9. Fried dough...Yum!! This looks wonderful.
    Hugs, Sherry

  10. Oh Rita, you are such a sweetie! I have memories of "Fastnachts" that my grandparents would buy at the local church on Shrove Tuesday. I am scooting over to your recipes to get your Kreppel rezept. Next year, I will be prepared to make my own "Fastnachts". Oh yum!!