I love food traditions tied to holidays. First, we made steamed chicken buns for Chinese New Year. Then on Sunday, I was happy to recognize another holiday that I only recently learned about: la Chandeleur—a wonderful excuse to eat too many crêpes!
Chandeleur, also known as Candlemas in English, is celebrated 40 days after Christmas on the second day of February. Along with the strong link to Christianity, the celebration of Chandeleur has connections to pagan and Roman traditions. Long ago, making crêpes helped use up surplus flour, and the round pancakes loosely resemble the shape and color of the sun—fitting for the celebration of light and the coming of spring.
In Switzerland, I’ve been hearing that Chandeleur isn’t celebrated as much as in France. At the same time, I’ve been reading about Chandeleur-related events at various locations around us in Suisse-Romande, so it does exist in some forms here.
On Sunday, we made dairy-free and egg-free crêpes for a special Chandeleur lunch. I used a different recipe this time, but it didn’t measure up to my favorite vegan crêpe recipe from VeganYumYum. Next time, I want to use sarrasin or buckwheat flour to try making vegan galettes—a special crêpe from Brittany, France.
For my homemade crêpes, our toppings included lingonberry jam, maple syrup, Véron molasses spread and my latest discovery… Whipped soy cream! I did a ridiculous little dance in the kitchen after I tasted it (really) because it was so close to the real thing. A little vanilla sugar, powdered sugar, and soy cream whipped together with my immersion blender, and I had faux chantilly cream for our thin little pancakes.
After eating way too many crêpes, we took the funicular up and walked in the woods above our small Swiss city. Without any snow, it’s already starting to feel like spring. Of course that could change any day now, but we’re enjoying the mild winter while we still can.
While we’ve lost the tradition of hot wings and nachos for the Super Bowl here in Switzerland, we’ve gained Chandeleur and crêpes. And, be prepared to see soy whipped cream making many future appearances on this blog!