Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fastnacht (German for "eve of fast") and Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday"), is the last day before Lent begins in the Christian calendar.
In the Cajun country of Louisiana, a rich chicken gumbo served over rice is the traditional Mardi Gras feast. For the Pennsylvania Dutch, Shrove Tuesday means Fastnacht kuche, a special, deep-fried doughnut baked and eaten only on this day. A similar deep-fried cake called Oliebollen is eaten in Holland, and jelly-filled buns called Paczki are made in Poland. Maybe the best-known Shrove Tuesday food is pancakes, traditionally fried to use up all of the cooking fats (forbidden during Lent).