You know they taste good, but how much do you really know about
Fun Facts About
Crepes You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Know.
There’s no denying it!
There are crepe restaurants (“crèperies”) dedicated to creating delicious
Let’s explore some of the many fascinating crepe facts you didn’t know you wanted to learn.
Who invented crêpes? Or where do crêpes come from?
Prior to the 13th century,
Where does the word crêpe come from?
Crepe paper, crepey skin, silk crepe, and French crêpes! All four of these things describe something thin with a wrinkled or crinkly surface.
The term crêpe, in both English and French, can trace its roots back to old french “crespe,” meaning crispy or wavy and derive from the Latin “crispa,” meaning “curly.”
True to its name,
Why is there an accent above the letter “ê” in the word crêpe?
The correct way to write the word crepe in French is crêpe.
The little pointy hat above the letter “ê” is called a circumflex, and it tells you two things.
- How to pronounce the “e,” and
- It indicates the historical presence of a letter, often the letter “s,” that is no longer pronounced because it was deleted over the course of the evolution of a language.
As I mentioned before, the word crêpe derives from old French “crespe,” so the circumflex above the ê indicates that there was at one point an “s” in the word but was dropped.
Here are some other examples of words with a circumflex over the “e.”
- hôpital – “hospital”
- honnête – “honest”
- côte – “coast”
- pâté – “paste”
- île – “isle”
- ancêtre – “ancestor”
- forêt – “forest”
You’ve been pronouncing crêpe wrong:
In English, it’s perfectly fine to say crepe with the long “a” sound like in the word “APE”; however, in French, “crêpe” is pronounced “K-R-E-P” (rhymes with YEP).
Without the circumflex above the letter “e,” it would be pronounced completely different in French.
Click play below to hear how Crêpe is pronounced in French.
Crepe expressions in French:
Here are some fun French crepe expressions. Some are well known throughout France, while others are regional.
La crêpe du chat: Literally “the cat’s crepe.” It’s either a failed crepe or the last crepe made with the last of the crepe batter, which usually comes out small and irregular shaped, not round. So ugly, it’s only good for the cat.
Retourner quelqu’un comme une crêpe: “Flip someone like a pancake.” This French expression uses the image of a pancake flipped over and flattened to give the image of a person getting knocked down, completely flattened on the floor.
Faire la crêpe au soleil: “To do the crepe in the sun.” This cute expression means to lie in the sun and tan.
Faire la crêpe à la plage: “To do the crepe at the beach.” Another expression about tanning. This one gives you the image of someone tanning at the beach on their stomach and, like a crepe flipped in a pan, flips over on their back to brown both sides.
Retourner comme une crêpe: “To flip over like a crepe.” This French expression means to make someone quickly change their mind.
When is Crepe Day (jour des crêpes)?
La Chandeleur is precisely 40 days after Christmas, which also happens to be groundhog day. You can read about La Chandeleur here.
Fun Fact: Many countries and cultures eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, the day before the beginning of Lent, also called ‘Mardi Gras’ or ‘Fat Tuesday.’
What’s the difference between a crepe and a pancake?:
The batter for a crepe is very thin with a syrupy, cream-like consistency. There are also no leavening ingredients like baking soda or baking powder in
Another difference between
Have you tried Blinis- the cousin of
crepes and pancakes?
Originally from Russia, Blinis are quite popular in France. Blinis resemble tiny pancakes, and you can buy them premade at almost every grocery store in France in packets of 4 or more.
Some people make them at home using a blini pan.
Blinis are prepared similarly to pancakes, but the batter is slightly thicker, which produces a more breadlike pancake. They’re often served at parties (à l’apéro) as finger food topped with sweet or savoury toppings such as creme fraiche, smoked salmon or cucumbers, but you can top them with pretty much anything you like.
There are two types of
Crepes in France with two different names.
Crêpe sucré (sweet crepe) and crêpe salée (salty crepe / savoury crepe). One is a dessert made with white flour, and the other is a made of buckwheat served for dinner or lunch as a meal.
1) Une Crêpe sucré: made with white flour is usually filled with something sweet.
When you say the word crêpe in France, most French people will automatically know you are talking about “les Crêpes de “froment”: Literally “wheat flour crêpes. These buttery, golden
Because these wheat cakes are filled with sweet fillings, never savoury, they are usually served as a dessert or sold as streetfood snacks.
2) Une galette: Made with dark buckwheat flour always filled with something salty/savoury.
The second type of crepe is a buckwheat crepe, originally from upper Brittany France, and it’s always served with a savoury filling, never sweet.
You could say that buckwheat
Because “Les galettes” are a savoury dish, it’s usually served as the main course for lunch or diner in restaurants and creperies around France. It’s not uncommon to eat a sweet crepe for dessert after a galette meal.
Is it a galette or a crepe? The great debate!
A crepe is a crêpe is a crepe! Or is it?
There are a few names French people use to refer to
crepes: The crepes made with white flour filled with sweet fillings:
crepes: The savoury crepes made with buckwheat, filled with ham, cheese and other savoury fillings.
Except for parts of Brittany, Most of France agrees on the following three names for savoury buckwheat
- Une galette de sarrasin: (sarrasin is the term for buckwheat in French).
- Une galette de blé noir: (blé noir literally means black flour, another name used for buckwheat).
- Une galette Bretonne: (Named after its place of birth, Brittany) Not to be confused with Crêpes bretonnes, which is not a buckwheat crepe; it’s a normal crepe with a sweet filling.
Then there’s Brittany, in Northern France, the birthplace of
Regional newspaper Ouest-France invited people on Twitter to vote for whether they called a savoury buckwheat crepe a crêpe or a galette, which resulted in intense debate and divide. Apparently, it just depends on what region of Brittany you are in. (source in French)
The debate of the name of popular French foods is not limited to just
What is the origin of the word “Galette”?
The word “Galette” is from old French “gale,” which was the word for a “smooth, round, flat pebble.” In modern French, the word for pebble is “Galet” (pronounced Gah-Lay).
Galette is a French cuisine term that confuses some people who don’t speak French because it can be used in cooking directions to describe a flat round shape and to describe any flat round pastry or cake.
For instance, these are all galettes because of their shape.
- Galette de sarasin= Buckwheat
- Galettes pur beurre = Sohrtbread biscuits
- Galette de ris soufflé = Rice cakes
- Galette de pomme de terre = Potato pancake
- Galette de viande = Meat patty
- Galette Mexicaine or Galettes tortilla = Tortillas. This really confused me because, in Quebec, they are called Tortilla in French and not galette.
- Galette des Rois = King Cake (A flat pastry with a sweet filling traditionally served for Epiphany or Kings day on January 6.
Where is the crepe capital of the world
There’s no doubt that Brittany is considered the crepe capital of the world- it’s where they originated from back in the 1300s.
Depending on who you talk to, some people think Quimper, Brittany’s oldest city, is the crepe capital, specifically, Place au Beurre (Butter Square!), which should be renamed Place aux Crêperies because this medieval square is filled with tiny creperies serving up some of the most delicious
Some say the city of St.-Malo, also in Brittany, is the crepe capital of the world. They seem to have more crêperies per capita than any other city in France.
Where is the oldest crêperie, still running in France?
I had to do a little sleuthing to figure this one out. But I think I found two of the oldest creperies in France, both located in France’s Brittany region.
- 1898, Creperie Gourlan: located in a small town called Plonevez-Porzay. (Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France.)
- 1880, Crêperie Saint-Marc: Located in Quimper (In the department of Ille-et-Vilaine in Brittany France)
Here are France’s favourites crepe fillings:
According to a study conducted in 2016 by Statista, the most popular crepe toppings preferred by French people is a “crêpe au sucre,” which might surprise some people. Simply take a normal crepe, sprinkle granulated sugar on it, fold and eat. Sometimes, people squeeze some lemon juice over the sugar before folding and eating.
In a close second place is jam, followed by Nutella, chocolate, cider, honey, fruits, caramel and maple syrup. Syrup surprised me because I’ve lived in France for many years, and I’ve never seen syrup as an option at any creperies, and none of my friends here in France even own a bottle of syrup.
Crepes are not breakfast food in France.
Many visitors to France mistakenly think
crepes are not for breakfast, what does a typical French breakfast look like?
A typical French breakfast rarely, if ever, consists of savoury foods such as eggs, bacon or sausage, common in many Anglo-Saxon countries.
If you pop into a restaurant that serves breakfast in France, the menu will most likely have croissants; baguettes served with a side of jam, butter or honey. Other breakfast foods typically found at French bakeries include
At home, parents serve their kids cereal with milk, or
Crepes are France’s second favourite sweet dessert:
According to journalise Leslie Gagois in his 2015 book titled “The 100 favorite dishes of the French”(Les 100 plats préférés des Français),
You need a
crepe pan or crepe griddle.
Ok, you don’t NEED a
This 8-Inch Non-stick crepe pan by Chefmade is the perfect pan for budget-minded chefs who want to make the perfect crepe. Works on Gas, Induction and, Electric Cookers. It has an Insulating Silicone Handle so you don't burn your hands while flipping crepes or pancakes.
Comes with a Crepe spreader = Rozell / rateau, made of bamboo.
Crepe griddle = Galetiere/ Billig: Usually electric. it’s a machine with a flat surface that heats up, similar to the ones you see street vendors use in France.
Crepe spreader = Rozell / rateau: The crepe spreader is essential in spreading the crepe batter evenly on a crepe maker to create super think
Crepe Spatula = Spatule / Spanell: Traditionally made of wood, this accessory allows you to peel off the edges of the crepe before flipping it over, without burning your fingers. If you don’t have one, you can use an icing spatula or fish spatula.
Ladle = La louche: To ladle the crepe batter onto the crepe maker. Choose your ladle according to the size of your crepe maker.
Crepes are popular street food in France:
When the weather permits, it’s not uncommon to find little street stalls selling
“Une Crêperie” is an establishment that mainly serves
A crêperie can be a street vendor selling
In addition to
Crepes weren’t introduced until the 1900s:
White flour used to be an expensive luxury item. It wasn’t until wheat flour became affordable in the 1900s that it became a popular flour used in
crepes recipe is from the 14the century:
Le Ménagier de Paris, “The Parisian Household” Book, is an anonymous French medieval guidebook from 1393, written in the voice of an elderly Parisian to his fifteen-year-old bride on how a woman should behave. It’s what you might call a medieval woman’s magazine, which contained fashion, gardening and housekeeping tips, poems, prayers, moral instruction, and various recipes.
One of those recipes was a crepe recipe. The original recipe called for flour, eggs, water, wine and salt and butter for the pan.
There are only 5 ingredients in a traditional French crepe recipe:
A typical French crepe recipe usually contains 5 basic ingredients: flour, milk, eggs, butter and sometimes salt. If you’re making dessert
Crepe making secrets
The secret ingredient is lots of eggs: Many chefs agree, the extra eggs in a crepe batter are one of the secrets to a great tasting crepe.
Pour melted butter into the batter: Browned butter gives the crepe it’s distinctive nutty butter flavour.
Let the batter sit: Crepe recipes often say to let the batter rest for 30 minutes, which results in an even flatter crepe, unlike pancake batter, which is usually used immediately. (if you’re in a hurry, it’s ok to use the batter right away).
Crepes are extremely easy to make
You don’t have to fly to France to try a real French crepe because they are straightforward and quick to make at home. You probably have all the ingredients you need already in your pantry.
*Like all recipes, there are always variations. Take this recipe and adjust it to your liking. Just make sure the batter is runny; otherwise, the
A Deliciously Simple & Classic Crepe Recipe
This recipe makes approximately 8 large or 12 small crêpes
Keep in mind that
250 grams of white flour (2 cups flour)
4 eggs (You can use 3 to 5 eggs)
500 ML Milk which is (1/2 litre) or about ( 2 1/2 cups)
30 grams melted butter (1/4 stick, which is about 1 oz. or 2 TBSP)
Pinch of salt (this brings out the flavours, but you can omit if you like)
OPTIONAL: If making dessert
20 grams sugar ( 2 tablespoons of sugar)
zest of an orange or lemon
- Mix the flour, pinch of salt in a bowl. (If making dessert
crepes,you can add sugar)
- Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the eggs. Start whisking immediately while adding milk a little bit at a time. If you let it sit, you will get lumps.
- Stir in the melted butter. Some recipes add oil, but I prefer butter. The batter should be runny. The biggest mistake people make is making the batter too thick.
- Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. (some people like to put the batter in the fridge, but I let it sit at room temperature.
- Heat a crêpe pan or deep, non-stick pan, greased with a little butter.
- Pour in a ladle of the batter while holding the pan and tilting left and right so that the batter spreads out thinly on the pan. You want the crepe to be as thin as possible. I sometimes use a crepe rake to spread my crepe, which results in a perfectly thin crepe, and then I use a crepe knife to flip the
crepes, but these tools aren’t necessary. I find it easier to use. (See 2nd video below to demonstrate how to use a crepe spreader and crepe knife.)
- Cook over medium heat until the crêpe comes away from the rim, about one minute or until the crêpe is golden brown.
- Stack the
crepeson a plate or cover with aluminum to keep warm or whatever method you want to use.
- Serve with Nutella, sugar, lemon, strawberry confiture or whatever else you want, then fold into a delicious treat.