One of the most popular street foods in the United States, and in many other parts of the world for that matter, are crepes! Crepes are like thin pancakes resembling paper and are made from wheat flour which is often filled with a sweet or savory concoction. They are available in many creperies and restaurants but also on the streets in crepe food trucks, forming a part of the local culture and cuisine. Their history is quite rich. Below we take a look at how they became a common street food in North America and their rise to fame in Europe throughout the last century.
Origin of Crepes
The history of this dish dates back to the thirteenth century in Brittany, a region in France. The events surrounding the discovery are quite strange. According to legend, a certain housewife accidentally dripped some porridge on a hot flat cooking surface, which eventually spread into a circular patch. Normally, we would expect the housewife to throw away the porridge, but as the story goes, food wastage was highly frowned upon in those days. As a result, she ended up eating it, and in the process, she discovered the dish.
Due to their delicacy, they became a popular meal. They even caught the attention of chefs who added their own creative and innovative touches to this dish. Crepes became fashionable and were featured at elegant banquets, receptions, and parties all over Europe.
Their Introduction to American Culture
However, it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that they were brought to America by a French settler named Henri Charpentier, who had come to New York and established his own restaurant called Original Henri Restaurant and Bar.
For the last century, they have been a mainstay in the North American food scene. They were widely praised for their versatility, filling properties, and sweet and savory flavors. This amazing meal has even become a cultural icon, used in paintings and popular books and featured in songs and music videos. They are popular among locals and tourists alike as cheap street food that is easy to eat while on the go. While they may be small, they are big enough to leave a good impression on anyone who eats them.
How Are They Prepared and Served?
Traditionally, crepes are made from wheat flour and are sold either plain, without any fillings, or with a variety of different fillings, such as savory fillings. They can also be topped with fruits and other sweet fillings such as strawberries, kakuro jams, chocolate creams, and fresh fruit jams. They are commonly taken for breakfast, where they can be served along with meats, vegetables, and other items depending on your preferred taste. They can also be taken for lunch or dinner.
Types of Crepes:
In recent years, the popularity of crepes has increased so much that many creperies have introduced their own unique variations of the same. Some of these can be quite creative, such as the west coast crepes. The major types of crepes include the following.
1. Sweet Crepes: These are made from plain flour and filled with a variety of sweet fillings, such as jams, whipped creams, fruits, cream, chocolate, or vanilla cream, as already discussed.
2. Savory Crepes: These are made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour and filled with savory fillings such as vegetarian meats like black truffle ham. These, too, can be topped.