With Lent starting next week, it is a good time to talk about those food related days preceding. The Monday before Ash Wednesday has a variety of names: Rose Monday, Shrove Monday, Merry Monday or Hall Monday (short for "hallow" – holy). Another name is Collop Monday. It is rather overlooked these days while Shrove Tuesday gets all the focus.
The collops for which it is named, refer to slices of meat, often cured meats such as bacon. Collop Monday was a last opportunity for eating meat as well as eggs and butter which weren't eaten during Lent. Any fresh meat still available would be sliced into steaks and salted to preserve it until the end of the period of fasting.
A traditional meal would consist of thick slices of bacon along with eggs. The remaining fat was often kept for making pancakes the next day, on Shrove Tuesday.
Our family doesn’t need any excuse to eat bacon or ham, but if there is one, all the better. Consider reviving this Collop Monday tradition this year in preparation for the start of Lent.