Tuesday, 5th February 2019
Brittany celebrates le Chandeleur with crêpes!
For the last couple of weeks all of the supermarkets have been promoting crêpe ingredients. I thought it was a bit odd as pancake day (Mardi Gras) isn't for another four weeks
Well, pancake day, has nothing to do with it, it is all to do with Chandeleur.
Saturday, February 2, was La Chandeleur - known in English as Candlemas - which celebrates the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple - and it has become traditional in France to mark this day by eating crêpes. I am struggling to see the link here, but I will run with it.
What I didn't realise was that crêpes have been in existence since 7,000BC - but they were originally thicker and look more like a ‘galette’ made of water and cereals.
However, this popular staple began to evolve after the crusades in Asia - when the French brought back the famous buckwheat known as ‘sarrasin’.
Although they could not make it grow everywhere in France as it requires a humid weather, they discovered that Brittany was the perfect region to produce it. Thus the crêpe bretonne was born.
Sweet or savoury, crêpes have since spread all around France, especially since the arrival of wheat flour - which are more commonly used to make sweet crêpes.
In Brittany, crêpes are part of the heritage, every town has a crêperie, and it really is impossible to visit Brittany without eating a crêpe or two!
If you want to try and make a traditional crêpe bretonne, here is the recipe:
500g of buckwheat flour
1 tbsp of wheat flour
A pinch of salt
50cl of milk
1litre of water
First, put all the ingredients together in the list order and mix them - being careful to ensure your mix is lump-free.
Leave the batter in the fridge for at least an hour.
Then, pour a bit of the batter on an oiled pan to give the crêpe its shape. Flip it when it is ready. Do not cook it too much, otherwise it may break.
Once cooked, you can add an egg, ham, and grated cheese on it or anything else you fancy.
If you prefer it sweet, you can eat it with sugar or chocolate and some fruits on top (bananas, raspberries…).