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Crêpes and Crêperies

A crêpe is a type of very thin, cooked pancake usually made from wheat flour. The word, like the pancake itself, 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 is considered the national dish. Crêpes can be compared to the African injera, the tortilla, the Indian dosa and the Mexican sope. Crêpes often have a fruit filling of syrup, mixed berries, fresh fruit or lemon cream.

Buckwheat came to North America from Southwest Asia and also spread to Eastern Europe, where a similar meal, called blintz, also developed. In Brittany, crêpes are traditionally served with cider. In Italy, it is crepsella. In areas of Eastern Europe, the meal is called palacsinta (Hungarian), palaxinka (Bosnian, Serbian,Bulgarian, Macedonian, Czech, Croatian and Slovenian), palacinka (Slovak), Palatschinken (in Austria); the Romanian word for crêpe is claxtitax. In Danish, it's Pandekage, in most German regions it's Pfannkuchen, and in Dutch it's pannekoeken. The Polish version is called nalexniki. In the Spanish region of Galicia, they're called "filloas", and may also be made with pork blood instead of milk. In the Balkan region such as the countries of Albania, Montenegro,and Serbia, palacinka may be eaten with fruit jam, feta cheese, sugar, honey, or the hazelnut-chocolate cream Nutella.
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 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 fillings for meal crêpes include: cheese, asparagus, ham, spinach, eggs, ratatouille, mushrooms, artichoke (in certain regions), and various meat products.

When they are sweet, they can be a dessert. They can be filled with various other sweet items: jam, melted chocolate, dairy, ice cream, Nutella (a chocolate and hazelnut paste), bananas, berries, nuts, poppyseeds, cinnamon etc. Popular sweet toppings include sugar (granulated or powdered), maple syrup, lemon juice, whipped cream, fruit spreads, sliced soft fruits, etc.

A crêperie may be a takeaway restaurant or a more formal sit-down restaurant or café.

Crêperies are typical of Brittany in France; however, crêperies can be found throughout France, Europe, Seoul and Tokyo, Canada, the United States...and Key West!