What Are Crepes?

Pancakes, french toast, waffles, folks, we hear your yawns loud and clear from here. You want elegance, you want European, you want…us to write about crepes! Crepes, a classic French dish of very thin pancakes that can be served sweet or savory, are a brunchtime mainstay and delightfully not-fried street food. Today, we’ll be discussing all things crepe, including how to pronounce crepes, what crepes are made out of, what to put in crepes, and more.  

How to pronounce “crepes” correctly?

Cripes! We almost forgot to tell you how to pronounce “crepes!” The common, American pronunciation of the word is “kr-ayps” with a long “e.” If you want to pronounce crepes the French way, it’s “kre-ehp.” The “s” is silent and the “e” is short. 

Where are crepes from? Are crepes French?

Crepes originated in France in the 13th century in Brittany. According to the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), one theory in crepe lore is that a woman in Brittany accidentally dribbled thin buckwheat porridge onto a hot, flat cooktop, and ate the resulting cake, inadvertently inventing crepes. Man, she was lucky. All of MY mistakes in the kitchen just end up resulting in the fire department coming to the rescue. Another theory places the origins of crepes back all the way to the year 472, when Pope Gelasio I allegedly fed crepes to visiting French Catholic pilgrims. Crepe Day or Jour des Crepes, which honors that occasion, is still observed every February 2.

What are crepes made out of?

The specifics of what goes into a batch of crepes (or “crepeload”) tends to vary, but most recipes include flour, milk and/or water, eggs, and, often, melted butter, along with optional salt and sugar. It’s not quite pancake batter, but not far off! The main difference between pancakes and crepes is that pancakes include a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda. 

Classic crepes from Brittany are typically made with buckwheat flour, resulting in an earthy, nutty flavor and a darker color. But white flour is also perfectly acceptable. 

What to put in crepes? 

Crepes can be folded or rolled with a variety of fillings, such as butter and sugar, Nutella, ham and cheese, mushrooms, or seafood—really anything your heart desires as long as you can fit it within the often paper-thin layers. 

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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