Valentine’s Day is coming up, and National Crêpe Day was last week. Both had me thinking of romantic breakfasts in bed. One of the most sensual and romantic breakfasts I think one can prepare is blackberry crêpes. A man that makes these for me (or fresh summer peach crêpes) will own my heart forever.

The blackberry is often overshadowed by its brightly red-colored peer, the strawberry, on romantic holidays. This is such a tragedy. One should not underestimate the ability of the blackberry to add sweet flavors to a variety of desserts and dishes. It is equally delicious with chocolate, not to mention some people believe it is just as potent an aphrodisiac.

Several websites and one book state that tenth-century Arab physicians prescribed blackberries for assistance in the bedroom; however, I haven’t found any sources that support that, yet. I’ve added a few new items to my reading list that include medical texts from medieval Arab and Islamic doctors. I am curious to see if this is fact or some type of myth that is randomly repeated because one person said it once a long time ago. But, I did find a modern-day study that supports eating blackberries can assist with erectile dysfunction in my search for medieval medical texts.[1] Blackberries and blackberry tea were also frequently prescribed for GI issues and gum health.[2]

For those of you that loathe Valentine’s Day, the blackberry crêpe is also the perfect fruity breakfast for the dreaded day of romance. Doing my research into the humble blackberry, there is plenty of myth associated with Lucifer, ill-fate, and the fruit.

The legend of Lucifer cursing the blackberry and making it the ugly purple-blackish color it is today has to be my favorite fruit-related myth. It is said that when Michael tossed Lucifer out of heaven, the Devil tumbled into hell and his fall was broken by a thorny blackberry bush. Upset that a plant had the audacity to stab the Lord of All That Is Evil in the arse, the poor blackberry bush endured Lucifer’s wrath. Not only did the Devil curse it to be forever ugly, he supposedly spat and peed on it. Some versions of the tale say he also scorched the bush to add insult to injury. [3] Talk about a diva tantrum! I searched the internet for artwork of the Devil fighting with a blackberry bush. Unfortunately, no medieval artist appears to have captured this legendary moment for us.

Lucifer’s curse is why folks in Britain and Ireland celebrate Michaelmas with blackberry pies, and in the Middle Ages, believed one should never eat blackberries after September 29. Additionally, those of Celtic decent believed that fairies consumed blackberries. Woe on the one who doesn’t leave the first fruits of the season for the fae.[4]  

When The Moon Bleeds Book Cover featuring a full harvest moon

In When The Moon Bleeds, Dante brings Grace wild blackberry crêpes for breakfast to make up for upsetting her the day before. While she enjoys her delicious breakfast, the crêpes and blackberry filling end up becoming the weapon of choice in a clash with another character. I don’t want to spoil the scene, so I won’t elaborate on it much more. Interestingly enough, this scuffle leads to a message of bad tidings from the Hasan sorceress causing the Horsemen and Grace a great deal of grief.

While I felt like I was almost writing blasphemy to have crêpes flying and blackberry sauce scalding skin, I couldn’t think of a better food to deploy in an early morning brawl. Eggs wouldn’t fling as well, syrup would be too sticky and thick, and pancakes wouldn’t sail thru the air with ease.

For those of you who are curious about what types of crêpes could make an author feel like a blasphemer to write they were flung instead of savored, here is a link to John D Folse’s Wild Blackberry Crêpes recipe: http://www.jfolse.com/recipes/desserts/fruits11.htm

To make the peach crêpes I mentioned above, use this same recipe, but swap fresh cut summer peaches for the blackberries and use a sweet Moscato wine such as Stella Rosa’s Honey Gold Peach Moscato instead of regular white wine. (Please excuse my amateur plating and food photography skills.)

If you try the crêpe recipe, please let me know what you think of them. I’d also love to hear what folks are enjoying for breakfast on Valentine’s Day!

Whether you are loved up with a Valentine or are single and cursing couples everywhere, may the day be good to you!

Thanks for reading!

Cat

[1] “How Can Food Improve ED Symptoms?”

[2] Verma et al., “Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Use as an Herbal Medicine”; Hummer, “Rubus Pharmacology.”

[3] “Don’t Eat Blackberries After September 29! And Other Superstitions”; Albright, “Michaelmas.”

[4] “Don’t Eat Blackberries After September 29! And Other Superstitions”; Albright, “Michaelmas.”

Sources:

Albright, Mary Beth. “Michaelmas: The Day the Devil Spit on Your Blackberries.” Culture, September 28, 2015. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/michaelmas-the-day-the-devil-spit-on-your-blackberries.

CulinaryLore. “Don’t Eat Blackberries After September 29! And Other Superstitions,” March 26, 2014. https://culinarylore.com/food-myths:no-blackberries-after-september-29/.

The Checkup. “How Can Food Improve ED Symptoms?,” June 8, 2021. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/erectile-dysfunction-diet/.

Hummer, Kim E. “Rubus Pharmacology: Antiquity to the Present.” HortScience 45, no. 11 (November 2010): 1587–91. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.45.11.1587.

Verma, Rameshwar, Tushar Gangrade, Rakesh Punasiya, and Chetan Ghulaxe. “Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Use as an Herbal Medicine.” Pharmacognosy Reviews 8 (July 1, 2014): 101–4. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.134239.

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