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Oh Crêpe! A Brief History of the French Crêpe

Crepes can be savory or sweet, but they are always delicous!
After you read this blog, you will definitely want to eat crepes. Join us on Wednesdays at Le Fou Frog!

Some say the French Crêpe was created in Brittany France in the 1300’s. Perhaps an urban legend, the story goes that a Brittany housewife accidentally dropped some of her Buckwheat porridge broth onto a flat hot surface in her oven. Being thrifty and not allowing the precious food to go to waste, she took her thin pancake and served it. Other legends claim that the crepe was invented earlier than that in the 12th Century.

In France, the Crepe became the symbol of the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of spring. February 2nd is called La Chandeleur. Actually, it is considered the last cycle of the Christmas celebration. So, in religious tradition, Christians were only meant to clear the Christ’s manger scene after La Chandeleur, which translates as the light is coming.

Nowadays, La Chandeleur is mostly known as the day of the crepes The French say that the round crepe symbolizes the Sun and also a coin. On February 2nd, the French will flip crepe with their right hand, whilst holding coins in their left to bring good luck.

Using all the old buckwheat on this day is both practical and, it is believed, leads to a good new year.
La Chandeleur - February 2nd - ends the Christmas Season

Crepes from Brittany are made from buckwheat flour, because that crop grows more readily in the French Provence. The buckwheat crepes usually contain savory fillings. The most popular is ham and Béchamel, a sauce made of Gruyere cheese, butter, milk and flour. All over France, the French people make crepes. They can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and of course, dessert. They can be a simple dish or an elevated dish. They are served in French family homes, restaurants, and as street food. There are as many creperies in France as there are hot dog stands in the United States.

The French have as many crepe stands as Americans have hot dog stands
Crepe Stand in France

Crepes can be filled with all types of savory fillings such as the aforementioned ham and cheese, to asparagus, crème fraiche and smoked salmon, seafood Newburg, chicken and mushrooms with Brie cheese, goat cheese, roasted peppers and olives. If you can fold the filling into a crepe than you can have it any way you like. The French typically fold not roll their crepes.

Dessert crepes also have many options. One of the simplest is browned butter and sugar. Nutella, a chocolate, hazelnut butter, which is actually made in Italy, but sells more in France because the French enjoy it especially in crepes. The French will add strawberries, bananas and Chantilly cream to the Nutella and Voila! Dessert. The famous Crepe Suzette, legend says it was created by accident. The Chef had made a crepe with oranges and Grand Marnier. As the young waiter brought it out to the Prince of Wales, he accidentally walked too close to a candle and the dish ignited. The Prince of Wales loved it so much he claimed that it should be named after one of the women who was in his dining party, Suzette.

Making a Crepe Suzette
The Legend of Crepe Suzette

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