forum: Food & Drink

#1 Mon 04 Feb 08 12:23pm


Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Collop Monday Breakfast - today 4th Feb

Today - Monday 4th February - is Collop Monday.

Its an almost forgotten tradition, I wonder how many of you have even heard of it?

Collop Monday is the day before Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday) when households used up the last of the meat in the house in preparation for the days of Lent, when meat was off the menu.

This was in the days long before refrigeration or canning, so the only meat available at this time of year would be salted or smoked meat, usually bacon or ham. There may also have been dried sausages, and black pudding.

COLLOP is a Yorkshire dialect word meaning a thin slices of meat (from the French - Escallope).

The tradition was to eat up all the bacon and other preserved meats, fried, with eggs, for breakfast on this day. (The fat from the frying was saved for making pancakes for Shrove Tuesday.

In addition to giving up meat for Lent, there was also the custom of abstaning from leavened bread (bread made with yeast), and eating only unleavened bread (notice that pancakes are a form of enriched unleavened bread). Bakers yeast was, of course, not available, and all leavened bread was "sourdough". On Collop Monday, the whole of the sourdough starter was used to make bread, and no starter was retained - a fresh batch of leaven would be prepared at the end of Lent on Holy Saturday.

All this was an unusual treat - breakfast on ordinary days would just be a bowl of gruel or porridge, with no meat or eggs. It was a real feast before the fast of Lent.

These days, most people have forgotten about the Collop Monday Breakfast feast - but the tradition lives on in the form of the Full English Breakfast!

Collop Monday Breakfast was a big fry up of  Bacon, Sausage, Black pudding, Fried Bread and Eggs - which is precisely the basic ingredients for the traditional Full English Breakfast.

Next time you tuck into a Full English - remember that you have the medieval Christians of Yorkshire and the Season of Lent to thank for its invention smile

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#2 Sat 09 Feb 08 2:00pm


Occupation Self-employed
From Brisbane, Australia
Member since Wed 06 Feb 08

Re: Collop Monday Breakfast - today 4th Feb

Love the history and story of food.  Didn't know/never heard of Collop Monday - makes good sense though!
Thanks for taking the trouble to share the history  Burkey

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