Le Cordon Bleu News, 02/25/2009
Mardi Gras at Le Cordon Bleu Paris
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|A traditional day...|
On February 24th, Le Cordon Bleu Paris celebrated Mardi Gras with their students sharing a generous selection of donuts and regional fritters made especially on this traditional day by the Le Cordon Bleu Pastry Chefs.
THE ORIGINS OF MARDI GRAS (SHROVE TUESDAY) AND CARNAVAL
Mardi Gras (shrove Tuesday) takes place on a different date every year depending on when Easter falls. Mardi Gras (shrove Tuesday) takes place on the day preceding Ash Wednesday and signifies the end of the carnival period. There are 40 days of lent between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
For the first Christians, this day was a day of penitence to cleanse the soul, in order to be purified for entering lent ; the worshippers would cover their heads in ashes as a sign of penitence. Today, such practices are no longer carried out. During lent, the church forbids the eating of meat, weddings and marital relations. Following the 40 days of lent, Easter is celebrated.
In contrast to lent, carnival is a period of joy and freedom where the normal rules of everyday life are suspended: people dress up, eat what they want and sing in the streets. The origin of the word carnival comes from the Italian word carne (flesh, meat). In Italian the word « carnelevare » means « without meat ».
Mardi gras / Shrove Tuesday
Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. Shrove Tuesday, which marks the end of carnival, is the last chance to eat up fats before lent. During lent, eggs should not be eaten and thus pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday in France is also famous for the large number of donuts produced on this special day, the names of which vary depending on the region from which they come : bugnes, oreillettes, roussette, merveille, bottereau, tourtisseau, …
Merci Chefs, it was delicious!