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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Crepes, Galettes, Gaufres, Mille Crepes, Pannequets and more. All on French Menus

Behind the French Menu.
Bryan Newman
Updated October 2016.
Dessert Crepes.
Photograph courtesy of roboppy.

Your French-English dictionary may well tell you that a crêpe is a pancake, a galette is a wafer and a gaufre is a waffle.  However, as you have probably already discovered few French chefs pay much attention to French-English dictionaries.
The French did not invent the crepe, but they certainly have created hundreds, possibly thousands of recipes for crepes, galettes, gaufres and close family members. Crepes and family may be thin or thick, made from regular wheat flour, potato flour, buckwheat flour or mixed flours. They will be sold on street corner food-carts covered with Nutella or chocolate spread or served in fine restaurants that offer Crepes Suzette flambéed.   Wherever offered the French love crepes.
Crepes will be either thin and quickly cooked or thick like a pancake or baked until crisp like a biscuit. Some will serve as a casing for vegetables, smoked fish or other savory additions while others may be covered in maple syrup or served with fried eggs for breakfast.  For beautiful desserts, crepes may be anointed with a fruit sauce, accompanied by fresh fruit, ice cream and whipped cream. On your menu crepes, galettes, gaufres and  the other family members will change their descriptive names at the chef’s whim.  Read the menu carefully or ask.
As you travel through France on French menus you may  find:
Bourriole  - A buckwheat flour crepe  used  for both savory  and sweet dishes. This crepe’s name originated in the Auvergne, but many areas in France have locally named crepes that may be very similar.  The Auvergne Bourriole will be a Tourtou or Galetou in Limousine, in Brittany it will be a Galette Bretonne.  In the rest of France, it will be a Crepe or Galette de Blé Noir, a buckwheat crepe.
 Bourriole au Bleu d'Auvergne – The Auvergne buckwheat crepe made with the mellow 45% pasteurized cow’s milk blue cheese the Bleu d'Auvergne AOP.]
A Mille Crepe
Photo by Courtesy of   Annalise Sandberg. 
A mille crepe’s name has the same roots as a Millefeuille, a pastry made with interleaved  mille (a thousand), layers of pâte feuilletée and fruit, vegetables or a pastry cream.
Crepaze – A cake made of crêpes interleaved with fruits or vegetables and baked. It differs from a mille crepe which is cake made with many thin pancakes interleaved with fruit or cheese, but not baked.
A lunchtime crepe
Photograph courtesy of supercheeli.
Crêpe à la Farine de Châtaigne Corse AOP -  A crepe made with the AOP chestnut flour from Corsica. Chestnut flour from many parts of France will be used in many crepes, gaufre and galettes.
Crêpe à la Farine de Châtaigne Corse Fourrée au Brocciu. A crepe made with the Corsican AOP chestnut flower stuffed with the Brocciu Corsican cheese. The Corsican Brocciu AOC/AOP  cheese is a soft  sheep’s or goat’s cheese. This is one of the few cases where an AOC/AOP cheese may be made with the milk from more than one animal.  Brocciu is made from the whey and  for a cheese made with whey it still has a fat content of 40%.  
Crêpe Sucrées - Dessert crêpes are made with many recipes.  Some use egg yolks, some whole eggs; all use milk, some add light-cream and most will be thin. They may be on sale in street-carts and lathered with chocolate or Nutella or served in a full-service restaurant with fruit, ice cream and/ or whipped cream.

Crepe Sucre.
Photograph courtesy of kReEsTaL.
Crêpes au Coulis de Fruits Rouge – Crepes served with a thick berry sauce. 
Crêpes Suzette - Crêpes Suzette. Thin crêpe sucrées prepared in a sauce made fresh orange juice flavored with a combination of liquors.  According to tradition, these crepes were flambéed, accidentally, in front of the Prince of Wales in the Café de Paris, Monte Carlo. The year was 1896, and the chef was 16 year-old  Henri Charpentier; then the idea of flambéing anything in front of the diners was shocking.  Henri Charpentier, together with Crêpes Suzette Flambées  would become world famous.

Crepes Suzette Flambée
Photograph courtesy of   Charles Nouÿrit
Crêpes Salées – Savory crepes. These may be made the same way as sweet crepes with the additions being vegetables, ham or chicken, or they may be made with chestnut or buckwheat flour.
Crêpes Américaine also called Pancakes Americaine - On some French menus. American pancakes are much thicker than crepes and they contain baking soda to help them rise. Crepe batter is allowed to rest before using and that results in thinner crepes.

American pancakes with maple syrup and ice cream.
Photograph courtesy of Marco Cabazai.
Crêpes au Saumon Fumée  et Fromage Frais  - A crepe filled with smoked  salmon and fresh white cheese.

Crêpes Parmentier, Galette de Pommes de Terre or Crêpes de Pomme de Terre  Potato pancakes made with grated potatoes, onions and eggs. They come in all sizes and are all very similar to Swiss Röstis and Jewish Latkes.
Crepes de Pommes de Terre.
Photograph courtesy of RalfBurger2305
Ficelle Picardie –  A traditional crepe from  Picardy (Picardie).   The Ficelle Picardie is a crêpe stuffed with mushrooms, ham, and poultry. The finished crêpe is baked in a béchamel sauce with gruyere cheese and served gratinée.  The region of Picardie includes the departments of Somme, Aisne, and Oise. 
Galettes – Galettes began as thicker crepes and crepes made with buckwheat; however, the usage of the word galettes is not written in stone.
Galette Bretonne – A traditional pancake from Brittany made with the local buckwheat flour, its blé noir, black flour, also called the farine de sarrasin, the flour of the Saracens.  A Galette Bretonne may be served with a variety of garnishes though the most traditional would be salted butter, fried eggs, ham and grated French Gruyere cheese.

A Galette Bretonne
Photograph by  Razvan through
Galette de la Chaise-dieu – This is neither a crêpe nor a galette, it is a cheese. This is soft goat’s cheese from the Auvergen; the same cheese is also made with a goat’s and cow’s milk mixed.
Galette de Pommes de Terre,  Crêpes de Pomme de Terre Potato pancakes. Somewhat similar to Swiss Röstis and Jewish Latkes; these are potato pancakes usually made with grated potatoes, onions and eggs.            
Galette du Paludier – A creamy goat’s milk cheese. The cheese is made in flattened circles that weigh approximately 90 grams, so its shape is like a thick crepe, a galette. The Galette du Paludier is a goat’s milk cheese aged on a bed of the coastal plant called samphire or salicorne. This cheese is only made close to the coast near Guérande in the department of Loire-Atlantique and the nearby  island of Noirmoutier in the department of Vendée.
Gaufres Waffles. After being popularized by Belgians the waffle became mainstream on French menus.  There  will be many options both savory and sweet. A gaufre may be as thin as a crepe while some may be 3cm thick (1 1/4”).
Gaufre Belge - The Belgium waffle is nearly always served with whipped cream, strawberries extra.
 Gaufres Liégeoises – A Belgian waffle made with brioche dough, Liège is the French speaking city in Belgium that  gave its name to this waffle
A Gaufres Belge with fruit and Creme Chantilly.
Photograph by elenathewise/
Pannequets – Small crêpes, rolled or folded over with savory or sweet fillings. It may seem unnecessary to have yet another word for crêpes or galettes but in this case the word describes how the crêpes will be served.
    Pannequets aux Fraises – Crêpes wrapped around a strawberry filling.
Photograph courtesy of Donald_fr.
Sanciaux –  Another traditional name for crêpes or galettes.  Sanciaux will be on the menu with a variety of recipes in quite a number of régions.
Socca or Socca Niçoise -  Crêpes and  or donuts from in and around the city of  Nice in Provence; these are made with farine de pois chiche, chick-pea flower.

Crepes in the language of France’s neighbors:

(German- pfannkuchen), (Italian: crespo), (Spanish: crespón, crepé).

Crêperie  - A crêpe bar; a pancake bar. A crêperie may be a street-side kiosk or a full-service café-restaurant. Crêperies that are café-restaurants have menus built around savory crêpes for a main course and sweet crêpes for desserts. Creperies often offer popular local dishes as well. In a Normandie crêperie we could have chosen moules et frites, mussels and French fries. In a Savoie creperie we were offered an Assiette de Charcuterie Savoyard, a traditional Savoy plate of cold meats and pickles. In the Camargue in the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer a creperie offered a Friture de Poissons de Roche, tiny fish that are deep-fried.  Most crêperies also offer inexpensive fixed-price menus, a local house wine, as well as children’s menus, coffee and ice cream.
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Bryan G. Newman

Copyright 2010, 2014. 2016.
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman

1 comment:

  1. The Pannequets can also be found in Central and North Italy.
    And they are very tasty.

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