Forget Groundhog day. Go grab a flat pan and a coin and invite your friends over for pancakes. It’s the Fête de la Chandeleur in France!
The great thing about pancakes is that they are simple to make using ingredients you usually have around in the pantry, and the kids can get involved too.
On February 2nd friends and family all over the country get together and prepare a stack of crêpes to share. It’s up to each guest to pick their favorite style, but a popular choice is to sprinkle with sugar, spread with hazelnut-chocolate paste or jam. Now here’s the trick: when you are making your crêpe you must hold a gold coin in your writing hand and the flat pan with your (less able) hand, no cheating. You then you flip the crêpe and if it lands flat on the pan you are guaranteed prosperity for the whole year.
The Chandeleur tradition (Candlemass) is rooted in pagan rituals of fertility surrounding the purification of the soil at the end of winter. It remains a mystery as to how this date came to be celebrated with pancakes. Some say it’s the shape that resembles the solar disk of pagan rituals, others say it comes from an early tradition to feed small crêpes to pilgrims.
Whatever the origins of the tradition, any excuse to enjoy French style crêpes sounds good to me. My favorite? Spread with a thin layer of confiture de lait….miam!
Get the recipe here.