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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 offset spatula.

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 fruits.

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Crêpes can be compared to other types of thin pancakes popular around the world, for example, Russian blini.

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.


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