Sunday, May 25, 2008

Crepe: Pancake's cousin

Crepes, the cousin of pancakes, is less a breakfast food in France and more a social comfort afternoon / evening one. We eat them as an afternoon snack, a whole meal or a dessert. You can make them sweet, or salty. Popular fillings for crepes are sugar, Nutella, fruit jam, whipped cream.

The earliest memory that I have of crepes is me and my brother walking to the house of a distant cousin of the family every Friday after school, to each get one of the crepes she had just made. I would always get a "crepe au sucre" or sugar crepe.

Since then, sugar has remained my favorite filling. I like it simple. Nutella isn't bad either. I absolutely love how gooey a crepe is when you bite into it. I also like to feel the sugar cracking a little. And my favorite drink to go along with crepes? Cider! If you have never tried the combination before, believe me, go ahead, it's worth the try!

Making crepes in France really is a social occasion. Teenagers, students make crepes in the afternoon or evening when they hang out together. "What do you want to do?". "Dunno.... Want to make crepes?". How many times did I do that with my friends! We would either choose the "cook, flip, eat, repeat" technique, which is to eat crepes right as they were made; or the "stockpile" technique, which means that you keep the crepes warm in a stack under foil to wait for the person flipping them to be done. I choose technique #2. #1 is not fair to the person on flipping duty.

Or you could buy Tefal's family crepe maker! You just have to make the dough ahead, let it rest, and when it's time to eat, you plug in the machine, everybody sits around the table and makes their own crepes -with their chosen filling- . I only used it once at a friend's and I thought it was fun but the best part of making crepes is really to flip them.

On a cold day, I love to stop at a cafe and have a crepe and some cider. Juan and I shared a crepe on New Year's Day while we were in Antibes; We watched fireworks while seating on the beach. It was very cold outside, and it made the crepe even better, on top of being very romantic.

When I'm in Lyon, I like to go to a crepe stand in the old part of the city, le Vieux Lyon. The guy uses a professional crepe-making station with a wooden T-shaped tool to spread the dough (like they do mostly everywhere in France). Their crepes are big, thin and delish! They are folded in half and then in quarter after being filled with your favorite filling. I let you admire the master:


Will Campbell said...

I thought crepes were always sweet until the past couple years. The sandwich version is just plain bizarre to me. There was a great crepes place near my place in LA. It was run by Gen-X Japanese immigrants...go figure. I need to find a good location in DC but haven't caught one yet.

manager said...

Hey Letty,

Is there any crepe place in Austin you'd recommend?

Keep writin'!


Aran said...

Hi Laetitia! First of all, thank you for visiting my blog yesterday and thank you for your kind words. You have a lovely blog as well and I am off to explore it!

Laetitia said...

Hey Grady! You know there is one place Juan and I have been meaning to try; It's a crepe stand called FLIP HAPPY CREPES:

I have heard great things about them... Let me know if you try it!