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