Crêpe is the French word for pancake and is derived from the Latin crispus meaning “curled”. February 2nd is La Chandeleur or “Jour des Crêpes”. Originally this was a celebration to observe the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the baby Jesus, 40 days after his birth. It was customary for processions to be held and candles to be lit at midnight as a symbol of purification. So how do the crêpes factor in? As the pilgrims arrived for the processions they were given crêpes as nourishment.
The modern day approach of the holiday is now known as the “return of light” or an increase of longer days as the seasons change from Winter to Spring. Crêpes are made as a symbol of prosperity for the coming year. It is now a tradition to hold a coin in your hand and a crêpe pan in the other while flipping the crepe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, it is thought that your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year. No matter the outcome, you can enjoy a yummy treat!
World Nutella Day is on February 5th. The slogan of “Keep Calm and Carry a Spoon” unites people from all over the world and encourages them to share in their love of the chocolate gooey goodness. Fans become creative and share their recipes for using the hazelnut spread in all different ways and we all benefit while indulging in the sweet spread.
Interestingly the French don’t typically eat crêpes for breakfast. Normally they are eaten for lunch, as a snack or for dessert. The fillings range from very simple such as the zest of a lemon with a dust of icing sugar to sweet crêpes with jams, Nutella or syrups and savory dishes with eggs, meat or vegetables.
Whether you are in France or at home in your kitchen, you can always enjoy this simple creation that is known as France’s national dish. Just close your eyes and imagine you are in the French countryside or strolling under the Eiffel Tower or sitting by the Mediterranean eating as the French do. Bon appétit!
Be sure to try out crêpes at home. Here is a basic recipe