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History of Collop Monday

 

 
Jump to : -  What is a Collop?  |  When is Collop Monday?  

 

 

Go to:   Main History Index Page  |  History of World Cuisines   |   Origins of Ingredients

 

 

Many people around the world have heard of Shrove Tuesday otherwise known as pancake day, mardi gras or fat Tuesday. However today, Collop Monday is much less known about, let alone observed.

 

 


What is a Collop?

 

Collops are slices of meat. Although there is some debate as to where the name originated many believe it to come from the Swedish word kallops, rather than from the French word escalope. In England by the Elizabethan era, the name collops referred specifically to slices of bacon.

 

When is Collop Monday

 

Collop Monday is a moveable date but is always the Monday before Shrove Tuesday and although it's not clear exactly when it came into being, it was probably devised by Christians during the Medieval period. 

Also known as Shrove Monday, it was traditionally the last day to cook and eat meat before Lent. It has to be remembered that there was no refrigeration, so it is likely that the only meat available at that time of year would be smoked or salted - usually bacon or ham.

 

The tradition was established that on Collop Monday the bacon would be fried and served with eggs, usually for breakfast - much like today's traditional English Breakfast though the slices of bacon were probably thicker -  then the fat remaining in the pan from the frying would then be used the next day - Shrove Tuesday - to make the pancakes.

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