Crepes workshop at the Petit Fumechon farmCrepes workshop at the Petit Fumechon farm
©Crepes workshop at the farm, Saint-Vaast-du-Val|Aurore Pélerin

At Candlemas, we make pancakes

It’s Candlemas, and who says Candlemas, says pancakes! And here is everything you need to prepare good pancakes… But first, a little history! Do you know the origin of this festival ?

The origins

A little history...

Originally, Candlemas, which means Feast of the Candles, is a Latin pagan festival, which became like many others a Christian religious festival. Among the Romans, the Lupercales of February 15 celebrated the god Lupercus for the fertility of the herds. Pope Gelasius I associated candles with it in the 5th century by organizing torchlight processions on February 2. At the same time, 40 days after Christmas is celebrated from the 3rd century the Presentation to the Temple of Jesus by Christians. The rise of Christianity will combine these two celebrations into one. It is on February 2 that the crib is put away in the church, to close the cycle of the Nativity.

Other hypotheses related to pagan cults, symbolism, and traditions of many countries also explain the feast of Candlemas, I invite you to immerse yourself in reading the articles devoted to this subject in the press and on the web, it’s fascinating! Candlemas is celebrated in many countries, each with its own tradition, torches, pancake tasting and other culinary specialties. Fun fact, in the United States February 2 marks Groundhog Day, those who have seen the movie Groundhog Day will know what I am talking about!

And the pancakes?

The tradition of pancakes is like the candles attributed to Pope Gelasius I, who had pancakes distributed to pilgrims arriving in Rome. But it is also customary that during the Lupercalia, the vestals (women who took a vow of chastity) made an offering of cakes prepared with the wheat of the old harvest so that the next one would be fruitful.

The round shape of the pancakes and its golden color is also associated with the sun, which will therefore evoke the return of spring after the winter. A tribute to the cycle of the seasons!

At the end of the 5th century, the making of pancakes is linked to a fertility rite. In the rural world, the tradition consists of blowing the pancakes with the right hand while holding a gold coin in the left hand and making sure that they fall back into the pan, to experience prosperity and good harvests the following year.

The recipe

Pancake batter

made in Terroir de Caux

The recipe is simple, you probably know it! But here on the Terroir de Caux, we bet everything on the ingredients!

Preparation and cooking

  • We start by putting the flour in a bowl with the salt and sugar, we make a well in the middle, where we pour the eggs, we mix gently and add the cold milk little by little, (then melted butter if we put) while mixing until obtaining a fluid dough. If the consistency is too thick, add a little more milk!
  • Then you will need to rest the dough for at least an hour so that the flour absorbs the liquids well, the starch grains swell and thicken the dough, which will make it more flexible and give fluffier pancakes.
  • If you want to skip this step, you can heat the milk before your preparation (the starch will swell faster) for a reduced pause time (10 to 15 minutes instead of an hour).
  • Finally we cook our pancakes in a non-stick (or lightly oiled) pan very hot.

And as we saw above, we do not forget to blow them up to hope for prosperity!

Pancake Workshops

If I’ve made your mouth water and made you want to learn more about our Local products, I invite you to sign up for our upcoming immersive tours! La Ferme du Petit Fumechon indeed welcomes you for a visit of its facilities where you can attend and even participate in the milking of cows and enjoy a friendly culinary workshop with your family where you make your pancakes with products from the farm. See you during the short vacations with the tourist office to live this experience!

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