Long-standing tradition of crepe parties in French classes continue to spark interest in the language

March 7, 2024 — by Amelia Chang and Annika Gho
Photo by Florence Wei
Sophomore Mridhula Vudali poses for the camera as she spreads and flips the batter.  
Once a semester, French students enjoy a day of making crepes and watching movies.

As French students walked into their classroom on Feb. 13, the smell of crisp batter and fresh strawberries immediately hit them. Soon after, they began flipping crepes and watching a movie, enjoying the break from typical lessons and activities. These crepe parties, held once a semester in Elaine Haggerty’s French classes, allow students to first-hand experience French culture and cuisine.

While it isn’t known when the tradition was first established, by the time French teacher Elaine Haggerty started teaching at SHS in 2015, crepe parties were already a long standing tradition. She had taught French in other schools, but making crepes in the classroom was something new to her. 

“Once everybody’s had all the crepes they want, then we start taking it to other teachers and classrooms, which is fun, because [you can] share the joy,” Haggerty said.

The basic ingredients of a crepe include flour, milk and eggs, which are combined to form a thin batter then poured over a crepe griddle. Crepes can be made both sweet and savory. However, in France, it is more common that they are made sweet. During the French classes, strawberries, bananas, nutella and whipped cream are used to flavor the thin crepe. 

Students bring the ingredients themselves, and some are chosen to make and bring batter to the classroom, leading to a variety of different batters in the crepes.

“I would definitely say that the crepe parties motivate me to learn since it’s fun to try and communicate with my teacher and fellow classmates [about the ingredients],” sophomore Mridhula Vudali said. 

Crepe parties are held twice a school year, on Mardi Gras in February and All Saints Day in November. All Saints Day is similar to Halloween, while Mardi Gras celebrates the last night of fatty foods before Lent. Lent takes place in the 40 days before Easter and during this time, Christians observe fasting and abstinence. While the official National Crepe Day is on Feb. 2, Haggerty said it doesn’t fit into the class schedule as well as Mardi Gras.

Junior Krishen Khanna volunteered to make batter for his 17-person French 2 class, spending around one to two hours on it the night before.

“It’s a great experience because it’s really fun to see everything come together, and sometimes my friends will come over and help so it’s a great time,” Khanna said. 

After eating the crepes, students spend the rest of class watching a culturally relevant movie. For example, for the party on Feb. 13, French 2 students watched “Romuald et Juliette,” a movie about a CEO of a yogurt company named Romauld who finds out his wife is having an affair. Furious, he teams up with a woman named Juliette to get revenge.

“My favorite thing about crepe parties is how I actually get to bond with my classmates,” Vudali said. “Usually the class is very fast-paced and we go from activity to activity really quickly, so it’s a nice change of pace to just relax and talk to others while making crepes.”

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