Crepe: Food of the Week

I haven’t yet attempted to make my own crepes, but I usually look at the stuffed crepes when I’m at IHOP. On the surface, they shouldn’t be too difficult to make; they are just a thin pancake, cooked on only one side.

Since I haven’t made a crepe myself, I’ll just quote wikipedia on preparation:

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 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. There are also specially designed crêpe makers with a heatable circular surface that can be dipped in the batter and quickly pulled out to produce an ideal thickness and evenness of cooking. A cooked crêpe is a very thin pancake.

crepeImage by David Monniaux on Wikimedia

History of crepes:

Pancakes were an early unleveaned bread that supposed are round to worship the sun god by pagan cultures. Regardless of it’s origins, pancakes came to Europe around the 15th century and became a popular breakfast item there. In the French province of Brittany, someone came up with the idea of making it paper thin and stuffing it. And the crepe was born.

Actually not quite. What we typically think of as a crepe is actually a galette originating in northern Brittany. in Southern Brittany, crepes were born as a modified galette that was cooked on both sides and were more brittle. Eventually, a culinary compromise was struck. Today, we eat the northern galette with the southern name crepe. What does the word “crepe” mean, anyway? Well, it’s French for pancake, and comes from the latin word “crsipus” meaning curly. Don’t ask me.

Crepe Suzette

According to one legend, promugated by the chef involved, the crepe suzette was a fortuitous accident when the Prince of Wales, future King Edward VII ordered a dessert crepe in a Monte Carlo restaurant where Henri Charpentier worked. According to Henri, he accidently set the crepe on fire and thought it ruined. But instead turned out delicious. In this legend, it was named for the prince’s daughter, Suzanne, who accompanied him.

The competing theory was that this crepe was created by Restaurant Marivaux who provided crepes for actress Suzanne Reichenberg in a play where she served crepes. The crepes were flambeed to keep them warm for the actors to eat afterward.

Crepe nutrition:

A single crepe is about an ounce and is always stuffed, so it’s almost pointless to talk about nutrition for a crepe by itself. It’s like a tortilla in this manner. When is the last time you ate a tortilla by itself?

That said, a crepe made from white flour, as is commonly used today instead of the traditional buckwheat, contains about 65 calories. For its diminutive size, a crepe contains a decent amount of protein (2 grams), Vitamin A, and Selenium, as well as the B-vitamins that get added to enriched white flour. They are a bit high in cholesterol, however, about 12% of your suggested daily maximum for each.

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