For the following two weeks, while I am in France, I am going to try a new pastry. Every. Single. Day.
In case you haven’t memorized your multiplication tables yet (don’t worry, I haven’t either), that’s fourteen pastries. Is that a lot? Honestly, I would be eating that many pastries—or more—anyway, so I might as well get something out of it besides an empty wallet and a gourmet French dessert baby kicking at my stomach.
So what is culturally significant about fourteen variations of dark, rich, chocolate, flaky dough, and vanilla beans? I plan on finding out, one bite at a time.
Read the entire series here.
I love, love, love crepes, but I’ve had them a lot, and they don’t tend to change a lot from place to place.
But then, I found Princess Crepes.
Princess Crepes is a kawaii creperie. I did not know what this meant at first. I didn’t need to. I was magnetically attracted to the gigantic, heart-shaped window, pink ruffles and frills, and cute graphics as though Princess Crepes is where I was meant to be.
The interior is completely pink. The sweet girls who work behind the counter wear pink heart aprons and flower crowns. I felt truly at home.
They had so many delicious-sounding options. Unlike many other creperies in Paris, they actually had unusual ingredients to include in your crepe. One gets sick quickly of the typical sugar/lemon/Nutella options.
There were various types of fruits, ice creams, cakes, and even whipped creams (the regular Chantilly and the much more unusual and intriguing chocolat Chantilly) that you could combine and make come to life like a yummy Frankenstein. I took a very long time looking at the menu, fantasizing about the options, and wondering if it would be crazy to get two crepes, but I eventually went for Nutella, Oreo, strawberries, and Chantilly:
Ugh. It was so delicious. But Princess Crepes is definitely a very modernized version of the classic crêperie, and served unique versions of the classic crêpe.
The crepe actually originated in France, specifically in the Breton region, which is located in the northwest of France. The word crêpe is French for “pancakes” and comes from the Latin crispus meaning “curled,” but they were originally called galettes, or flat cakes.
In the 12th century, buckwheat was introduced to Breton, whose rocky moors were perfect for its growth. When white flour became affordable in the 20th century, crepes were made with white flour instead of the gluten free buckwheat.
Once cooked on large cast-iron hot plates heated over the fireplace, crepes are now made on electric crepe makers. The batter is spread with a long, thin, wooden tool called a rozel and flipped with a spatula. In Breton, they are often served with cider.
Crepes are such a big deal in France that there is even a national holiday based around them, on February 2nd. Well, it's not totally based around crepes-- rather, it's the Catholic holiday of Candlemas-- but crepes have become a major component of the celebration. Called Fête de la Chandeleur, Féte de la Lumière, or Jour des Crépes, this day is not only for eating a whole bunch of crepes but also for telling fortunes with them. It is a tradition to hold a coin in your dominant hand and a crepe pan in the other, then flip the crepe in the air. If you catch the crepe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.
Basically, I already can’t wait for next February.