"" Writer's Wanderings: Crepes! Tres Bon!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Crepes! Tres Bon!

No trip to France, especially Paris is complete without a sampling of crepes. Crepes are the thinnest pancakes you can imagine--think the thickness of a newspaper. There are many creperies where you can get them with all sorts of condiments like jams and complimentary foods like ham and cheese.
I think the best crepes are the ones you find at the sidewalk stands or the mobile creperies. And my favorite? Nutella! We were first introduced to Nutella back in 2000 on our first trip to Paris. It's a luscious chocolate made from hazelnuts and now readily available in the States.
Making the crepes is a real art to someone like me who can't turn a pancake over without flinging batter across the griddle. The griddles are nice and hot and lightly oiled. The batter is poured from a dipper in the middle of the griddle and then spread adeptly with a little tool--a 1/2" thick dowel stick on the end of another stick that is rolled around to spread the batter out thinly to the edges of the cooking surface.
The next step is truly what amazes me. They take a spatula similar to the flat metal one I use to spread icing on a cake and loosen the crepe, then flip it over in half and flip the folded half out flat to brown the underside. It is then folded over several times to make a triangle and just before the final fold, the filling is put on. It is hard not to salivate as the Nutella is spred.
The sidewalk crepes are wrapped in a piece of cardboard and well. . .the best part--strolling down the Champs Elysees and endulging in the warm delicate chocolaty delight. Okay, I have to quit now. I'm salivating again.

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