HISTORY OF CREPES
The crêpe was born as an accident, created by fourteen-year-old waiter Henri Charpentier in 1895 at the Maitre at Monte Carlo’s Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales and describes the creation of the desert in a published book about his life. He states that it was an accident that the pastry had burned and Charpentier tasted it hoping it would be good enough to serve, since there wasn’t enough time to create a new dish. Charpentier describes the creation of the crêpe with, “Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman.” It was served to the prince who enjoyed it so much that the following day he sent its creator a Panama hat, a cane, and a jeweled ring
In France, crêpes are traditionally served on Candlemas (La Chandeleur), 2 February. This day was originally Virgin Mary’s Blessing Day but became known in France as “Le Jour des Crêpes” (literally translated “The Day of the Crêpes”, but sometimes given colloquially as “Avec Crêpe Day”, “National Crêpe Day”, or “day of the Crêpe “), referring to the tradition of offering crêpes. The belief was that if you could catch the crêpe with a frying pan after tossing it in the air with your right hand and holding a gold coin in your left hand, you would become rich that year. The roundness, and golden color from being fried in butter, of the crêpe resembles the sun and its rays. This symbolism also applies to the coin held in the person’s hand.
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