Ahhhhh crêpes… the fantastic meeting of a thin, silky pancake with rich, delicious filling. The word crêpe literally means ‘a light, thin fabric with a wrinkled surface’, which, as all crêpe lovers know, is the perfect description of this delectable ‘pancake’ creation. While the outside of this treat is fairly consistent no matter what type of crêpe, fillings will vary depending on the consumer’s preference (or mood or craving in that particular moment!). From Nutella and berries to ham and swiss cheese, there is no wrong choice.
With all this goodness, it is no wonder the French devote a day to celebrate this sought after delicacy.
But what crêpe roots does La Chandeleur actually have?
The holiday began as a pagan holiday which celebrated the half way point of the winter and return of warmth, growth and sun. But as time went on, it became a much more religious holiday – the first day baby Jesus was brought to the Temple of Jerusalem.
So, again, how does any of this relate to crêpes?
History states that in the 5th century on February 2nd, Pope Gelasius I started the Festival des Chandelle. The evening consisted of a candlelit procession through the streets of Rome lined by devout pilgrims. Before delivering the blessed candles to the churches, Gelasius handed out crêpes to poor pilgrims who traveled far and wide to witness the nighttime celebration.
And so, it is custom on February 2nd , La Chandeleur , to eat your crêpes in the evening. Especially if you want to escape the superstition surrounding this day… Read here for more on how to PROPERLY prepare and eat your crêpes on La Chandeleur.