Crêpe

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This article is about the thin pancake. For the cloth, see Crêpe (textile). For the decorative paper, see Crêpe paper. For other uses, see Crepe (disambiguation).
Crêpe
Crepes dsc07085.jpg
A stack of crêpes
Alternative names Crepe
Type Pancake
Place of origin France
Region or state Brittany
Main ingredients Wheat flour or buckwheat flour, milk, eggs
Cookbook:Crêpe  Crêpe
A sweet crêpe opened up, with whipped cream and strawberry sauce on it. This variation of crêpes – especially when they are curled up to form a tube, and finished with a topping of powdered sugar, whipped cream, or both – is called French pancakes.
Video demonstration of preparing crêpes.

A crêpe or crepe (Listeni/krp/[1] or /krɛp/ French: [kʁɛp] ( ), Quebec French: [kʁaɪ̯p] ( )) is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour (crêpes de Froment) or buckwheat flour (galettes). The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning "curled". While crêpes are often associated with Brittany, a region in the northwest of France, their consumption is widespread in France, Belgium, Quebec and many parts of Europe and North Africa. Crêpes are served with a variety of fillings, from the most simple with only sugar to flambéed crêpes Suzette or elaborate savoury galettes.

Preparation[edit]

Crêpes are made by pouring a thin liquid batter onto a hot frying pan or flat circular hot plate, often with a trace of butter on the pan's surface. The batter is spread evenly over the cooking surface of the pan or plate either by tilting the pan or by distributing the batter with an offset spatula.[2] Sweet crêpes are generally made with wheat flour while savory crêpes are made with non-wheat flours such as buckwheat.

Common savoury fillings for crêpes served for lunch or dinner are cheese, ham, and eggs, ratatouille, mushrooms, artichoke (in certain regions), and various meat products. The fillings are commonly added to the center of the crêpe and served with the edges partially folded over the center.

When sweet, they can be eaten as part of breakfast or as a dessert. They can be filled and topped with various sweet toppings, often including Nutella spread, preserves, sugar (granulated or powdered), maple syrup, lemon juice, whipped cream, fruit spreads, custard, and sliced soft fruits or confiture.

Types and special crêpes[edit]

Mille crêpe

Crêpes are especially popular throughout France. The common ingredients include flour, eggs, milk, butter, and a pinch of salt. Crêpes are usually of two types: sweet crêpes (crêpes sucrées) made with wheat flour and slightly sweetened; and savoury galettes (crêpes salées) made with buckwheat flour and unsweetened. The name "galette" came from the French word galet ("pebble"), since the first gallettes were made on a large pebble heated in a fire. Batter made from buckwheat flour is gluten-free, which makes it possible for people who have a gluten allergy or intolerance to eat this type of crêpe. Mille crêpes is a French cake made of many crêpe layers. The word mille means "a thousand", implying the many layers of crêpe.[3] Another standard French and Belgian crêpe is the crêpe Suzette, a crêpe with lightly grated orange peel and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier) which is subsequently lit upon presentation.[4]

Swedish pancakes, also called Nordic pancakes, are similar to the French crêpes. In some of the Nordic countries they are served with jam or fruit, especially lingonberries (or the butter from that fruit) as a dessert with a variety of savory fillings. Traditional Swedish variations can be exotic. Beside the usual thin pancakes, called pannkakor, which resembles the French crêpes and, often served with whipped cream and jam, are traditionally eaten for lunch on Thursdays with pea soup, the Swedish cuisine has plättar which resemble tiny English pancakes, and are fried several at a time in a special pan. Others resemble German pancakes but include fried pork in the batter (fläskpannkaka); these are baked in the oven. Potato pancakes called raggmunk contain shredded raw potato, and may contain other vegetables (sometimes the pancake batter is omitted, producing rårakor). Raggmunk and rårakor are traditionally eaten with pork rinds and lingonberry jam. A special Swedish pancake is saffron pancake from Gotland, made with saffron and rice, baked in the oven. It is common to add lemon juice to the sugar for extra taste. The pancakes are often served after a soup. Another special "Swedish pancake" is the äggakaka (eggcake), also called skånsk äggakaka (scanian eggcake), it is almost like an ordinary Swedish pancake but it is a lot thicker and also a lot more difficult to make due to the risk of burning it. It is made in a frying pan and is about 1½ to 2 inches thick and is served with lingonberries and bacon. The Norwegian variety is commonly eaten for dinner, traditionally with bacon, jam (typically bilberry jam) or sugar.

A plate of 49er flapjacks

The '49er flapjack' is a sourdough crepe which is popular in the United States[citation needed], getting its name from the popularity of this style of pancake during the gold rush. During the Klondike gold rush of 1898, it was said that a real "Alaskan Sourdough" would just as soon spend a year in the hills without his rifle, as to tough it through without his bubbling sourdough pot. Since food was scarce, food provisions were more valuable than gold. In extreme cold, miners would put the dough ball under their clothes, next to their skin, or tuck it into their bedroll with them at night, anything to keep the yeast in it alive. Because it is similar to a Swedish pancake the 49er is sometimes served with lingonberry sauce, although most often it is rolled up with butter and powdered sugar, or served open faced and topped with maple syrup.

Cherry Kijafa Crêpes are also often common and are made with a traditional crêpe base, but filled with cherries simmered in a Kijafa wine sauce.[5]

Crêpe dentelle is a crispy biscuit made with a very thin layer of crêpe folded in a cigar shape and then baked. It is usually enjoyed with a hot drink during the goûter, in France.[6]

Crêperies[edit]

A small crêperie
Crêperie in Germany

A crêperie may be a takeaway restaurant or stall, serving crêpes as a form of fast food or street food, or may be a more formal sit-down restaurant or café.[7]

Crêperies are typical of Brittany in France; however, crêperies can be found throughout France and in many other countries.

Because a crêpe may be served as both a main meal or a dessert, crêperies may be quite diverse in their selection and may offer other baked goods such as baguettes. They may also serve coffee, tea, buttermilk and cider (a popular drink to accompany crêpes).[8]

In other countries[edit]

A sweet crêpe served with strawberries and whipped cream
Frixuelos. This is a kind of crêpe made in Asturias, Spain.

In Norwegian, crêpes are called Pannekake, in most German regions Pfannkuchen, and in Dutch, pannenkoeken. In Swedish, a crêpe is called pannkaka, in Danish, pandekager ("pancake"); in Dutch it is a pannenkoek or flensje, and in Afrikaans a pannekoek, which is usually served with cinnamon sugar. In the Spanish regions of Galicia and Asturias they are traditionally served at carnivals. In Galicia they're called filloas, and may also be made with pork blood instead of milk. In Asturias they are called fayueles or frixuelos, and in Turkey, "Akıtma".

In areas of central Europe formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian empire, there is a thin pancake comparable to a crêpe that in Austro-Bavarian is called Palatschinken or Omletten; in Hungarian: palacsinta; and in Bosnian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Czech, Croatian and Slovene: palačinka; in Slovak: palacinka. In the Balkan region such as the countries of Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, palačinka or palaçinka may be eaten with fruit jam, quark cheese, sugar, honey, or the hazelnut-chocolate cream Nutella. In Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, there is a similar dish known as the blintz. The Oxford English Dictionary derives the German and Slavic words from the Hungarians palacsinta, which it derives from the Romanian plăcintă ("pie, pancake"), which comes in turn from classical Latin placenta ("small flat cake").

Crêpes have also long been popular in Japan, with sweet and savoury varieties being sold at many small stands, usually called crêperies. In Argentina and Uruguay they are called panqueques and are often eaten with dulce de leche. They have also become popular in North America with several crêpe franchises opening. Typically, these franchises stick to the traditional French method of making crêpes but they have also put their own spin on the crêpe with new types such as the hamburger and pizza crêpe. In Mexico, crêpes are known as crepas, and were introduced during the 19th century by the French [9][10] and are typically served either as a sweet dessert when filled with cajeta (similar to dulce de leche), or as a savoury dish when filled with Huitlacoche (corn smut), which is considered a delicacy.

In addition to crêperies and crêpe franchises, there are crêpe manufacturers that use modern equipment to produce crêpes in bulk.

Chocolate-Coconut Crêpe served in crêperie near the Pantheon in Paris, France

Dishes with similar appearance, taste and preparation methods exist in other parts of the world as well. In South India, a crêpe made of fermented rice batter is called a dosa, which often has savoury fillings. In Western India, a crepe made of gram flour is called Pudlaa/Poodla, with the batter consisting of vegetables and spices. Another variety is called patibola and is sweet in taste due to milk, jaggery or sugar. The injera of Ethiopian/Eritrean/Somali/Yemeni cuisine is often described as a thick crêpe. Also in Somalia, malawax is very similar to a crêpe. It is mostly eaten at breakfast.

The names for thin crêpes in other parts of Europe are:

In culture[edit]

In France, crêpes are traditionally served on Candlemas (La Chandeleur), February 2. This day was originally Virgin Mary's Blessing Day, but became known in France as "Le Jour des Crêpes" (literally translated "The Day of the Crêpes", but sometimes given colloquially as "Avec Crêpe Day" or "National Crêpe Day"), referring to the tradition of offering crêpes. The belief was that if you could catch the crêpe with a frying pan after tossing it in the air with your right hand and holding a gold coin in your left hand, you would become rich that year.[11][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 3rd Ed. 2008.
    Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  2. ^ Pellegrinelli, Carroll. "Desserts / Baking-Basic Crepe Recipe". About.com. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Hesser, Amanda (2005-05-15). "The Way We Eat: Building a Modern, Multistoried Dessert". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Courtine, Robert J. (1984), Larousse gastronomique (French edition), Paris: Librairie Larousse.
  5. ^ Pancake House (2007). "Cherry Kijafa Crepes"; retrieved from http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/phm_crepes2.html.
  6. ^ "lace crepes". Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "La Creperie Cafe". Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "La Creperie Key West". Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Fernández-del-Villar, Miguel Angel and Ruiz-Naufal, Víctor M., Mesa Mexicana (1993), Fundación Cultural Bancomer, ISBN 9789686084948
  10. ^ http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/2139-the-french-influence-on-mexican-cooking-la-comida-afrancescada
  11. ^ Clay, Xanthe (2007-02-17). "With a flame in your art". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  12. ^ Redmond, Barbara (2012-01-30). La Chandeleur – Le Jour des Crêpes. Retrieved on 2012-02-28 from http://awomansparis.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/la-chandeleur-le-jour-des-crepes/.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Crêpe at Wikimedia Commons
  • The dictionary definition of crêpe at Wiktionary
  • Crêpe at Wikibook Cookbooks