A crêpe-making competition for Third Year French students has been devised to celebrate ‘La Chandeleur’ – or pancake day – in France, which is celebrated every year on 2 February, 40 days after Christmas.
The competition will take place in the week before half term, with students encouraged to be as creative as possible and to send a video or photos to their French teacher.
Amazon vouchers will be awarded to those with the most impressive creations.
Students are being challenged to bake ‘the most extraordinary crêpe ever’, explains Mrs Salin, Head of French, who adds: “They have to follow a French recipe and let their imagination and cooking skills go wild! In these hard times we wanted to swap usual homework for something more creative and cultural. It will probably leave them with a better memory than irregular verbs in the past tense – depending on their cooking skills, of course!”
In French folklore there is a tale that crêpes were born of a “happy accident,” when a 13th-century housewife in Brittany accidentally spilled some buckwheat porridge from a kettle in the fireplace onto a flat cooking stone. Crêpes have also taken on additional meaning; their circular nature symbolising either a coin or the sun. As to whether Brittany lays any actual claim to the origin, some credibility can be concluded from the fact that savoury crêpes are still traditionally made with buckwheat flour, a crop that performs well in Brittany’s wet climate, where normal wheat does not.
One associated tradition is to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, it is suggested that your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.
In the North of France, it’s traditional to use beer in the mix whilst in Normandy and Brittany people often add a swig of Calvados (apple brandy). Crêpes have become loved the world over due to their versatilty.
Wherever you are, the day marks a good excuse to make pancakes, and the French department have suggested students follow this simple crêpe recipe, in French.
The winner will be announced after half term and their work of art will be put on Firefly.
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