A crêpe is a type of very thin pancake (usually made from wheat
flour). The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning
"curled." While crêpes originate from Brittany, a region in the northwest of
France, their consumption is nowadays widespread in France and they are
considered a national dish.
Left: A sweet crêpe
opened up, with whipped cream and strawberry sauce on it.
In Brittany, crêpes are traditionally served with cider. Crêpes are
served with a variety of fillings, from the most simple with only sugar to
flambéed crêpes Suzette or elaborate savoury fillings.
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 word "galet", French for pebble, since the first gallettes were
made on a large pebble heated in a fire.
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 or oil 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
Common savoury fillings for meal crêpes include: cheese, asparagus, ham,
spinach, eggs, ratatouille, mushrooms, artichoke (in certain regions), and
various meat products.
When sweet, they can be eaten as dessert. They can be filled with various sweet
toppings, often including Nutella spread, sugar (granulated or powdered), maple
syrup, lemon juice, whipped cream, fruit spreads, custard, and sliced soft
Crêpes can be compared to other
types of thin pancakes popular around the world, for
Left: Russian blini served with sour cream.
In the United Kingdom, crêpes are traditionally eaten on
Shrove Tuesday, also known as "Pancake Tuesday". They are generally associated
with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs
such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent.
They are generally served with sugar and/or lemon juice.