Thursday, September 5, 2013

Crêpes on a Summer Day

A crêperie is a restaurant that specializes in the ultra-thin pancake that has become a gastronomic cliché for France. Americans commonly mispronounce the word "crêpe" - the true pronunciation rhymes with the word "step."


As Tom and I were enjoying one of the last glorious days before the rentrée (the return of all French citizens to their homes and jobs after summer vacation), we happened by a crêpe stand across the street from the Jardin des Plantes. Lo and behold, a young black woman was behind the counter producing these lovely confections!

Our server
© Discover Paris!

Crêpes can be sweet (sucrée) or savory (salée) and they are one of France's most popular forms of fast food. The crêperie that we spotted was on the corner of rue Buffon and rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, right next to an Italian restaurant.

Adjoining Italian restaurant and crêpe stand
© Discover Paris!

Crêpe menu
© Discover Paris!

I ordered a beurre/sucre (butter and sugar) crêpe and Tom ordered one filled with crème de marron (chestnut paste).

Our server uses two griddles to produce a single crêpe. She butters the first griddle and ladles the batter onto it. As it begins to cook, she butters the second griddle.

Buttering the griddle
© Discover Paris!

Ladling the batter
© Discover Paris!

Once the crêpe is set, she moves it to the other griddle to continue the cooking process. She can begin cooking an additional crêpe on the first griddle if there are a large number of customers waiting, thereby reducing the wait time. On this particular day, we were the only people there so we were able to watch the process and photograph it at our leisure.

Moving crêpe from one griddle to the other
© Discover Paris!

Our server "dressed" the crêpes with the fillings that we ordered, wrapped them, and handed them over to us. We both preferred Tom's crème de marron crêpe - it was sweeter and more consistent!

Handing over the goods!
© Discover Paris!

Next time we come to this neighborhood, we'll order the Nutella crêpe as a comparison. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

One of the stops on the Discover Paris! Ile Saint-Louis gourmet walking tour is a crêperie. Click HERE to view the Love2Eat video where I tell Lové Anthony all about crêpes during this walk. Then contact me if you'd like to book your own gourmet walk with us!


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