Pancake time – La Chandeleur

I love pancakes or crêpes and welcome any opportunity to eat them! So, I’m delighted that today is Pancake Day. If you’re reading this in the UK, this may come as a surprise.  Let me elaborate!


February 2nd, in France, is ‘La Fête de la Chandeleur.’  The name Chandeleur comes from the Latin ‘candelorum festum’, which means festival of candles and is also known as Candlemas.

Apparently it was Pope Gelasius I who helped to establish the festival of Candlemas and was said to have fed pancakes to the pilgrims who processed, holding candles, to his church.

Candlemas falls 40 days after Christmas and, in the Christian calendar, marks when baby Jesus was first  presented, by Mary, in the Temple at Jerusalem.

However, the festival can be traced back to Roman times when candles were lit to scare away evil spirits in the winter.

In the UK pancake day 2019 will fall on March 5th; more pancakes!

As well as eating pancakes, I enjoy making them! They were always a go-to favourite with my sons and their friends, whether for tea, breakfast or sleep overs. There are many recipes for making pancakes but the one I have always used is by Delia Smith.

Although, I must admit I don’t bother to add melted butter to my batter!

Bon appétit!
Are you a pancake fan? I’m a traditionalist and I love mine with lemon and sugar!

Les crêpes

I love pancakes! La Chandeleur, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi gras or Pancake Day – whatever the name, I welcome any opportunity to eat pancakes. They can be savoury galettes or sweet crêpes. I enjoy both types.

When I lived in Metz, most Saturday’s included a visit to the market, followed by lunch in a crêperie; bliss! I was very traditional in my choices: a ham and cheese galette, followed by a lemon and sugar crêpe. This would be accompanied by a cup or two of dry cider. My mouth is watering at the thought!

When we spent holidays in Brittany, with our sons, we introduced them to the delight of crêperies. A trip to France isn’t complete, for me, without a visit to a crêperie.

As a French teacher, one of the favourite topics we covered was ordering pancakes, inventing unusual fillings and even cooking them! My students were always reduced to hysterical laughter when I told them that one of the things I enjoyed most when visiting France was having ‘a big crêpe’…! Sorry.

You can even learn French while cooking crêpes. Here’s a fun clip, I hope you’ll enjoy:

I’m off to cook some pancakes for the family and I am going to experiment with a ‘clean eating ‘ recipe. Watch this space and, if you have time, I’d love to know what your favourite type of pancake might be.