Candlemas, French Pancake Day

French Pancake Day, the whole history

Where does Candlemas come from ?

On  February 2,  we celebrate Candlemas and traditionally eat crepes.

The date of February 2nd corresponds to 40 days after Christmas, the date of Christ’s presentation to the Temple. It was in 472 that Pope Gelase I organized torchlight processions on February 2, taking over the Church’s pagan rites during which peasants walked through the fields carrying torches to purify the earth before sowing it.
The Candlemas comes from the word “candella” or candle. The Candlemas is therefore also the feast of candles, during which torches are replaced by blessed candles that signify the light that keeps away evil, storms and death. In addition, the pope would also have given pilgrims “oblivion” – or cakes – to the pilgrims. Thus would have been born the tradition of pancakes, symbolizing the sun with their beautiful golden color and therefore the light.

How do we celebrate it now ?

Today, many French people don’t know where this celebration comes from, but they celebrate it by making pancakes that day.
For French people they are crepes.
You can also eat them in a “crêperie” at any time ! You can try “Le Kreisker” in Montpellier, famous for its salted crepes made with buckwheat flour called galettes and its sweet crepes.
Here is a traditional crepe recipe. To be tested absolutely. Feel free to comment.

French crepe recipe

Ingredients:

For about 20 crepes :

250gr flour
100gr sugar
4 eggs
1 half litre of milk
about 30 gr of melted butter
liquid vanilla or aroma of your choice

Preparation:

Preparation time: <15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar until the mixture is smooth and add half the milk.
Stir well; you will then obtain a dough that is a little difficult to mix and add the eggs one by one. The dough becomes more and more fluid: pour in the rest of the milk and mix again, then add the melted butter and aroma. Stir well, you will obtain a fluid pancake dough without any lumps.
Let it rest for about 1 hour.
To make your pancakes, pour a little butter into a hot pan and then pour a ladle of pastry into the pan. When the dough is cooked and small holes are formed on the surface, you can try to sauté it. If not, turn it over with a wooden spatula and cook the other side.

Then you can wear whatever you want:
butter and sugar
lemon
melted chocolate or chocolate spread…

In conclusion, everything is possible, everything is delicious. Bon appétit !

If you want to read this article in its original version, French B2 level, click here

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