Crepes for Crepe Day

Chocolate Crepes

I find sugar-encrusted crepes to be so heavenly, I’d tape them to my body and pluck them off as snacks throughout the day if it wasn’t too indecent a notion. This is why February second may just be my favorite day in France: It’s Candlemas, La Chandeleur, a celebration for the devout of the presentation of Jesus at the temple.

The French have a knack for turning any occasion into a reason to eat, so for Christians and non-Christians alike, today is also “Crepe Day,” when egg cracking, feverish whisking, and a round of luck-determining crepe gymnastics are the activities du jour. A coin held in their writing hand, hopefuls must use their other hand to flip a crepe into the air from the pan. If the crepe lands back in the pan, good luck follows. If it falls to the floor, the dog is the fortunate one.

My dear friend Roland, who hails from the Dordogne region of France, once told me that his grandmother would make him take a crepe to the chicken coop on La Chandeleur to encourage the Egg Gods to be generous. “You know, the chickens only ate half the crepe,” he said. I leaned in, eager to unravel the uncommon willpower of these French fowl. “Why?” I asked. “Because I ate the other half on the way to the chicken coop,” he laughed.

I love the French. And their crepes.—Kimberley Lovato

Crêpe Recipes for La Chandeleur




  1. We love crepes and I haven’t made them in a while. Guess it’s time. Our favorites are savory ham or turkey and cheese and sweet apple or strawberry. We like ours rolled.

  2. I love both savory and sweet crêpes: I love to make an Italian dish called Stracci in which crêpes are rolled with a ricotta cheese filling, topped with tomato sauce and cheese and then baked in the oven. I also love to make a mushroom, golden fried potato and cheese filling for crepes, rolling them up into plump little earthy bundles, topped with a creamy sauce and baked with cheese. For sweet crêpes I love filling with nutella, folding them, and then pan frying with a bit of butter and grand marnier and frangelico for a bit of a sauce. Most recently, though, I’ve fallen in love with buckwheat crêpes filled with ham, cheese and fresh spinach and then folded.

  3. I loved the story of the chickens and La Chandeleur. I also love crepes, particularly filled with raspberries and sweet cheese. But now I see that I may have to share them with my backyard chickens as it’s always good to keep the Egg Gods happy. Thanks for the inspiration Kimberley!

  4. I love love crêpes. My favorites are with chocolate, too. I also enjoy placing a mixture of berries over the crêpes, then adding melted chocolate and whipped cream…am hungry now! I may just make some. Another thing is rolled crêpes with a bechamel sauce and shrimp baked in the oven with grated cheese on top.

      1. David, Sofia,

        Rolled crepes with jumbo lump crabmeat, and yes some gruyere grated over the top, popped in the oven… this is The Frenchman’s (my husband’s) favorite savory preparation. He slips mushrooms in there, too, though I won’t tell you what kind as it would ruin all illusions of the level of day-to-day cuisine in our house! They are good, though, these crepes he makes!

  5. This is the best idea for a holiday I’ve heard in a while. My favorite way to eat crepes is straight off a super hot griddle served by a street vendor, but I’ve recently come to be (slightly) obsessed with Isa Moskowitz’s savory crepes. They have a delicious Indian feel to them, and the tamarind sauce compliments them perfectly.

    1. What a wonderful holiday. We are having crepes tonight with blueberry preserves, fresh blueberries and a dollop of cream.

    2. I agree Marilyn, dessert crepes are my favorite as well, especially with fresh berries.

  6. I’ve always felt a little ambivalent about February 2nd. Groundhog Day? Meh, I say.

    Well, “meh” no more! Crepe Day is a holiday I can really get behind! :)

  7. I love the simple beurre-sucre/ butter sugar crepes but a favorite restaurant of mine in Ste Maxime, France, serves a Hawaiian Crepe…pineapple, chicken and a coconut cream sauce. Divine. Marcella… it’s interesting the Italian saying about winter left behind because here in the U.S., February 2 is also Groundhog’s Day and a furry little creature named “Punxsutawney Phil” is brought from his den out into the sunlight. If he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter weather. Kind of silly really, and no crepes are involved. But it would be kind of fun to see if Phil likes crepes.

    1. Hey, thanks for chiming in, Kimberley. Beurre-sucre is another classic at our table… usually when “Mamie” (my mother-in-law) is around.

      As for Phil… I wonder. I have no clue what groundhogs eat, but maybe if we waved crepes above his hole each year, spring would always come sooner.

    2. Kimberly, I know about Groundhog’s Day only thanks to that movie starring Bill Murray :) But I had forgot it is on Feb 2. And of course did not know anything about the rodent himself.

      So, what did Phil do yesterday?

      1. Wiarton Willie (Ontario) and Shubenacadie Sam (Nova Scotia) both agree with Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction that we can expect an early spring. Apparently, Phil also predicted the Pittsburgh Steelers will win the Super Bowl. (Pittsburg is in Pennsylvania so his view may be a bit biased.)

  8. Dessert crepes are definitely my preference – fresh berries or simply citrus juice and a light drizzle of agave nectar. I am not really a fan of meat with crepes, even though I am not vegetarian. But I love savory ones with asparagus or spinach and, of course, cheese.

    1. Asparagus crêpes sound like a good idea to have with dinner tonight. How would you put yours together, Dena?

      1. I prefer simple preparations, so I would make crepe bundles of roasted asparagus, melting cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice and a twist of sea salt. Asadero cheese is on my radar for this assembly because it melts easily and it doesn’t become oily at high temperatures.

        1. Simple is quite often best. I’ve not tried Asadero cheese before. Sounds like a delicious way to go!

  9. I thought La Candelora was a typical Italian holiday, I did not know the French have one too! btw in Italy there’s a saying that goes, more or less, “with the Candelora we’ve left winter behind” and today indeed is a miraculously sunny day :)

    We don’t associate any particular food to this day, as far as I know. But crepes – hey, it’s always a good day to talk about crepes :)
    I like them savoury, especially straight from the oven, all golden and bubbly. I don’t have a special recipe for them, with a base of mornay or bechamel pretty much anything goes (inside). It’s a very nice way to clear the fridge, almost any sauteed veggie is happy cradled in a crepe, not to mention forlorn morsels of cheese and lonely ham, speck or pancetta leftovers.

    I also like them sweet, but I’m all for simplicity here – a sprinkle of sugar (maybe brown, or even some exotic muscovado), some lemon juice or rum, and I’m done. Although those dulce de leche crepes pictured above really, really need some investigating ;)

  10. My favourite crêpes are the savoury type. I like using a mixture of king crab or lobster and shrimp in a white wine mornay sauce. Oozy, cheesy and with my favourite seafood. They would be rolled, but not much because I like to fill them well!

  11. Confession time: In our house we started the Chandeleur celebration a day early, with Nutella. Because we all know it’s never too early for crêpes.

    And if you’re wondering about the delicious looking crêpes pictured larger than life at the top of this post… They are David’s own Chocolate-Coconut Crepes. Mmm…

    Now it’s your turn. Tell us, what fillings do you like in your crêpes—and do you fold ’em or roll ’em?

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