Crepes are thin pancakes that are often cooked on a griddle, skillet, or frying pan. They are traditionally made with flour, eggs, butter and milk or water, and they are then enhanced with sweet or savory fillings.
Originating in Brittany, France in the 12th or 13th century AD, crepes have been around ofr a while. The legend is that a woman making buckwheat porridge dripped some of it on a hot, flat cooktop. Not wanting to be wasteful when money was scarce, she ate it – and enjoyed it, to her surprise!
However, around 472 AD, the Roman Pope Gelasius I offered a food similar to crepes – which were called Crispus – to the pilgrims who travelled to Rome in order to celebrate Candelmas. The word crepe comes from the Latin word crispus, meaning wrinkled and curled.
Also known as jour des crepes, la Chandeleur, or Candlemas, National Crepe Day began in France as a religious holiday associated with Candlemas (but the traditions themselves are of pagan origin).
On this day, the French people eat crepes as a way to symbolize the sun and its rays, as Candlemas falls in the midway point of winter. The ingredients for crepes represent the harvest they hope will prosper in the year coming up.
One tradition for la Chandeleur is to hold a gold coin in your left hand while frying them. You toss the crepe in the air with your pan with your right hand, and if you catch it again in the frying pan, you will be rich that year.
Another historical tradition is that popes would pass food out to the poor on this day each year in order to encourage the idea of sharing.
Some people will even save the first crepe they make that day and put it in the top drawer of a dresser or wardrobe! It’s said that by doing so, you will have luck and prosperity in the years to come.
People believe that if it rains on la Chandeleur, then there will be forty more days of rain (a bit similar to Groundhog Day or Hedgehog Day, both of which fall on February 2).
In the 1800s, the people of Mexico were introduced to crepes by the French.
Later, in 1895, a type of crepe known as Crepes Suzette – a crepe topped with a carmelized orange syrup – was created by accident. A fourteen year old assistant waiter named Henri Capentier at the Maistre, Monte Calro was making crepes for the Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward VII of Great Britain. His highness loved the dish so much that he insisted on the name being called after one of his guests, a beautiful French girl named Suzette.
In the 1980s, Emy Wada of Japan invented millecrepes, which is a cake that is made with layers of crepes with filling in between.
Nowadays, crepes are served throughout the year for a variety of reasons. They’re usually made with white flour today in order to make them sweeter. They can be made sweet or savory, depending on the filling.
Ideas for National Crepe Day
Make a batch of crepes! Here are some delicious ideas for you, like putting on homemade Magleby’s syrup.
Tender, buttery crepes coated with a thin layer of Nutella and stuffed with sliced banana is oh so crazy delicious. These Banana Nutella Crepes are eye popping, but very easy to make. Serve for breakfast, brunch, or dessert on National Crepes Day and everyone will love you for it!
Just because you’re eating low-carb doesn’t mean you have give up on crepes forever! These KETO crepes are a fun breakfast or brunch treat on National Crepes Day. They’re a great way to mix things up and get out of your usual breakfast rut. Plus they only require 7 simple ingredients, so there’s no need to buy a gazillion specialty items.
Apple Crepes are the perfect addition to your recipe list on National Crepes Day. Thin French pancakes filled with a gooey caramel apple compote and toasted cinnamon pecans make for an amazing combo for breakfast or dessert. Top them with vanilla yogurt for breakfast or vanilla ice cream for dessert crepes that everyone will be talking about! Apple pie crepes make the perfect treat any time of the day.
This strawberry crepe cake features layered paper thin crepes, a sweet cream filling and juicy strawberries in between. Naturally colored and flavored this strawberry crepe cake can be customized to be gluten and dairy free without too much effort. To reduce the workload on National Crepes Day, make the crepes the day before and assemble the strawberry crepe cake the next day.
This is a mushroom chicken crepe recipe that the whole family can enjoy on National Crepes Day, from small babies, older kids to adults. The crepes are made first then filled with a soft chicken mushroom filling, rolled up and served as finger food, snack or packed in a lunch box. The chicken crepe roll ups can be easily prepped in advance and stored in the freezer. Enjoy cold or warm seared on both sides to form a golden crust.
Paleo crepes made easily in your blender! This quick recipe requires only 5 minutes of prep (no refrigeration time!). Serve them up on National Crepes Day with roasted and/or sautéed vegetables for a savory crepe experience.
This recipe shows you how to make dessert crepes for National Crepes Day, and it also has tons of other sweet and savory crepe filling ideas. Homemade crepes are so much easier to make than you’d think!
This Chocolate Crêpe Cake with Bourbon is a Southern take on the classic French Gâteau Mille Crêpes. This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through making this easy no-bake cake on National Crepes Day.
These healthy chocolate crepes are just perfect. So delicious and they make the best dessert, breakfast, or brunch on National Crepes Day. They are super easy to make and then comes the fun part, adding your toppings.
If the sight of a crepe stand makes your heart leap, you'll understand why you should make these savory crepes at home on National Crepes Day. They are a wonderful thing: tender crepes brimming with cheese, and thin, salty ham. Universally adored and conveniently adaptable to endless cheese, meat and vegetable combinations.
Take plain crepes up a notch on National Crepes Day by filling them with a luscious cream mixture and beautiful, fresh strawberries. These Strawberry Crepes are next level in taste and presentation, but very easy to make!