Crêpes are a traditional food on La Chandeleur, or Candlemas, a celebration for the devout of the presentation of Jesus at the temple. One bite of these crêpes, and you’ll be wildly devoted to them!
I find sugar-encrusted crêpes 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 “Crêpe Day,” when egg cracking, feverish whisking, and a round of luck-determining crêpe gymnastics are the activities du jour. A coin held in their writing hand, hopefuls must use their other hand to flip a crêpe into the air from the pan. If the crêpe 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 crêpe to the chicken coop on La Chandeleur to encourage the Egg Gods to be generous. “You know, the chickens only ate half of it,” 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 crêpes.—Kimberley Lovato