History Of French Crepes
Another of our classic European desserts. Basically a type of very thin pancake, in fact the French reckon it should be thin enough to read a love letter through, but lets leave sex out of the desserts.
There is an urban legend, that a French housewife in 13th century Brittany accidently dripped some thin porridge on the hot flat iron cooktop of the fireplace and voila, the crepe was born.
Like many origins lost in time, no one knows the real story, so who knows, this one might be true.
We do know they originated in Brittany, or Bretagne in the Northern part of France. And though many nations have pancakes, the French perfected them and it became the national dish.
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Buckwheat and Porridge
Using grain to make pancakes goes back into ancient history and in every culture.
In the wet Northern areas of France, wheat didn't grow very well. Around the 12th century, buckwheat was introduced and thrived in the damp conditions.
Grain was boiled in water and used to make a porridge.
It was this that legend tells us a careless housewifes misfortune became a legendary dessert.
The word crepe comes from the Latin Crispus, which meant crisp.
The Day Of Crepes
February 2nd is known in France as le jours des crepes. (day of the crepes) and many cook crepes, mostly for dinner. Originally like many holidays it was a religious festival. It also symbolises that spring is on the wat and is sometimes called La Chandeleur (the return of light).
It is probably the French equivalent of groundhog day.