How about some Crêpes, Mr. Groundhog?
Bon Appetit and happy French Crêpes Day!
Did you know that February 2 is a very tasty holiday iN France?
Lilit Marcus, contributor to Condé Nast Traveler, has the full story on La Chandeleur or the French version of Groundhog Day celebrated annually at 2/2, an unofficial and so very French holiday — THE perfect reason to indulge in those beloved thin pancakes not just for breakfast, but all day long.
“Americans often spend February 2 huddled in the cold waiting for a groundhog to emerge from the earth, but the French have a much more fun way to spend the day. Every year on February 2, France observes La Chandeleur, a.k.a. Candlemas, a.k.a. a day dedicated to eating crêpes.” Marcus continues to explain: “The Catholic religious holiday is exactly 40 days after Christmas, but it also has origins in an older pre-Christian holiday celebrating the harvest and marking the midway point of winter. As a result, the current La Chandeleur is a mix of both of these traditions, which eventually evolved into a day revolving around the crêpe—the round shape represents the sun and the circle of life, while the act of eating and sharing with others commemorates a historical tradition of popes giving food out to the poor every year on February 2.”
Crêpes for Dinner, not Breakfast
The Booklyn-based writer continues by quoting another source: “As The Local explains, La Chandeleur might just be the most superstitious day of the year in France. Simply going to a restaurant and ordering crêpes isn’t going to cut it. Depending what part of the country you’re in, some people put a coin on top of the crepe during the cooking process for luck, while others believe that you have to hold a coin in your right hand while flipping over the crêpes with your left—if you can do it without dropping any on the floor, you’ll be prosperous in the year to come. You’re also supposed to eat crêpes at dinnertime instead of breakfast, and some people save the first crêpe and stash it in a drawer or hiding place (again, for luck in the year to come) instead of eating it. And just like how Groundhog Day has weather-related implications depending on whether or not said groundhog sees his shadow, the French believe that rain on La Chandeleur will mean 40 more days of showers while a clear and sunny day means winter is almost over. Along with the sweet or savory crêpes, it’s traditional to drink boozy cider out of a round bowl (more of that symbolism) instead of a glass.”
Our Favorite Recipe
So what better day than #FrenchFoodieFriday – a celebration of all tasty things made iN France initiated by our colleagues at ATOUT France – for iNSIDE EUROPE to share our favorite crêpes recipe from Alton Brown, with a new 2018 twist to it.
Brown’s recipe calls for just ‘flour’, but as true Europe Insiders, we thought why not use something a little more traditional, such as buckwheat which is the traditional main ingredient in savoury crêpes also known as galettes in French. For more details on the topic of Crêpes versus Galettes, let’s refer you to The Local explains once again.
Ready to make some tasty crêpes? Here you go!
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup flour (we used half spelt, half buckwheat flour, if your diet is gluten-free, then just stick with buckwheat flour)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Butter, for coating the pan
We blend everything together in the Vitamix for about 30 seconds, then let the batter rest before you bake the crêpes in a pan or griddle over medium-high heat: The thinner, the better!
iNSIDE EUROPE tip for those with a sweet tooth: Add some freshly made Vanilla sugar to the batter and make sure to have jam, preferable home-made, and a chocolate spread like Nutella handy. German Kinderschokolade also makes a great topping and melts right on the hot crêpe.
For anyone who needs to see how it is done, click here and what Alton Brown whip up some of those tasty think pancakes!
Bon Appetit, we hope you enjoy celebrating La Chandeleur aka French Groundhog Day as much as we do!
#diningwiththestars #europeinsiders #tastytravels #epicurious