Flipadeedoodah! It’s Pancake Day.

Bacon pancakes ©Marshall Astor; Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Woohoo! Pancake Day is upon us again. If you listen carefully, you will hear ceilings and light fittings campus-wide whimpering in fear, having only just shaken off the remains of last year’s over-jubilant student offerings.

Whether your culinary skills are limited to one of those bottled mixtures (there’s something about pancakes out of a bottle that is just so wrong, it’s right!) or you’re a make-them-from-scratch kind of pancaker, you may be out of luck if you aren’t yet prepared for this most auspicious of occasions. Yesterday evening, Costcutter in Market Square was running dangerously low on eggs.

Turning to the even more important matter of the filling (or topping? It goes on top but then you fold it in so I’ve never been sure which is accurate), we have a world of possibilities. Traditionally, Pancake Day was intended as an opportunity to use up the unwanted food in your cupboard before beginning Lent. Nowadays however, this anything goes attitude seems to have become narrowed down to a few regularly occurring toppings.

Perhaps the cheapest, and therefore most student friendly option, is good old lemon and sugar. Boring? Perhaps, but if you’re anything like me, you only have pancakes once a year anyway, so any topping is good.

Another popular option is a chocolate pancake, usually in the form of Nutella (other chocolate spreads are available). For an even purer chocolate experience, try melting chocolate buttons on top of hot pancakes.

For those with a sweet tooth, golden syrup is a classic option, or opt for maple syrup for a more stateside experience.

For me the idea of warm fruit is too much to bear, as is the idea of fruit in a sweet dessert, so fruit on pancakes is just wrong. The more health-aware among you, however, may like to try various fruits - bananas, strawberries and blueberries are among the most common –combined with cream, toffee sauce or syrup.

Why not go savoury? But take care; there’s a fine line between a pancake and an omelette, and it’s not a line you want to see the wrong side of. I’ve never tried it, but I hear melted cheese is a good option. Chuck some ham in there too, a bit of onion maybe. Too far? Sorry.

If none of these appeal to you, why not go back to tradition and use up whatever is in your cupboard? Raw pasta may not be the most dental - friendly choice, but how about mixing cheese and tomato puree to make a pizza flavoured pancake. Baked beans is another option, but could get messy. Tuna mayo and sweetcorn might work (but probably won't). The possibilities are endless.

As I conclude this article, I feel like I should be giving some sort of health warning. On bonfire night, people are warned to check their bonfire for hedgehogs before lighting it, so perhaps check your ceiling for bugs before tossing? I’m all up for adventure, but spider pancakes is a step too far.

Got any other suggestions for toppings? Let us know below!

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