We all know that a mention to France and it’s main attractions remains incomplete without a special mention to the delectable French cuisine. Now be it a macaron, baguettes, foie gras or even just some French cheese or wine. But there have been some secrets of the French and of the French cuisine that have only recently been open to the world and we are so thankful for that! One of the dishes from the French cuisine which never exactly came into the limelight for many years despite it’s wonderful potential is Crepes. But since the world has come to know of it know, we can safely say that we are crazy for crepes.
Crepes or ‘Crêpes’ as they are known in French, is a type of a think pancake that is made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour. The word crepe has been derived from the Latin word ‘crispa’ meaning curled up because they are curled up when being served. Crepes are best known to have come from the Brittany region of northwest France. They were originally called galettes which meant flat cakes. Buckwheat was introduced in Brittany in the 12th century and since then, some variety of crepes has been said to be made. Wheat flour crepes were made only at the turn of the 20th century.
A batter using all the required ingredients is made and then is poured on a hot frying pan with a trace of butter on the pan. The batter is spread around the pan using a spatula or a flat spoon and is allowed to cook properly for about 2-4 minutes and then flipping the other side. The crepes are usually filled with a variety of filling inside depending on when one is eating the crepes. For example, for a savory crepe, a normal filling could be anything among eggs, ham, ratatouille, mushrooms and other meat products. For those who are health freaks, spinach and corn and other healthier options are always available. The sweet crepe ( the yummier one, of course) is filled with a generous amounts of fruits, ice-cream, whipped cream, Nutella etc. The crepe is then folded and served in a triangle or a like a roll. For our guilty pleasure, we can add chocolate sauce, jus de fruits, chocolate chips etc on the top as a garnishing. The sweet crepes can be eaten as breakfast or dessert, but we’d say you eat them at both the times because they are THAT delicious!
Crepes can be described as one of the top contenders to become the national dish of France. But, they are also widely available in Belgium, Quebec and some other European countries. In France, no matter city you go to, you’ll find the busiest roads and the quietest street with at the very least one road-side vendor of hot crepes. These vendors’ stalls are called creperies and they serve a variety of crepes to choose from depending on your mood. But the best of the creperies can be found in Brittany. And we are not kidding when we say that the French take their food seriously. Just head over to France on February 2nd to see their love for crepes. La Chandeleur is a day when all the households make crepes and have an epic crepe flipping competition. And if you’re lucky, you can maybe participate and win this competition too and your prize will be.. CREPES!
Out of all the variety of crepes that are available, we need to give a mention to the Crepe Suzette which has become a well known dish around the world today. It a crepe which is topped with some beurre Suzette or a caramalized sauce of sugar and butter, a tangy zest of orange, Grand Mariner which is served a la flambé. The origins or the how this dish was first made remains a mystery even today with some saying that it was an accidental discovery and others saying that it was named after French actress Suzzane Reichenberg. It went on to become one of the most famous desserts not in France, but also all over the world. It has a perfect combination of sweet, tangy and bitter in equal parts which sets this crepe apart from the rest of them. Mille crepes is another famous dish that is famous in the world of crepes. It basically means ‘million crepes’ and it is a type of cake that is made by making a cake by stacking a lot of crepes. I mean how can anyone resist that – cake and crepes. Yummy to the power maximum, we say!
Even though the concept of crepes is very similar to the concept of pancakes, the fillings inside set the dish apart. The dish has become very famous today with restaurants and cafe’s serving them in their breakfast menus and a number of creperies have also popped up in many places outside France. If you do get a chance, do try this delicious French invention and we are sure you too will join the crepe craziness. Happy Eating!