Crêpes are made by pouring a thin liquid batter onto a hot frying pan or flat circular hot plate, often with a trace of butter or oil on the pan's surface. The batter is spread evenly over the cooking surface of the pan or plate either by tilting the pan or by distributing the batter with an offset spatula.
Common fillings for meal crêpes include: cheese, ham, spinach, eggs, ratatouille, and various meat products.
When they are sweet, they can be a dessert. They can be filled with various other sweet items: jam, melted chocolate, dairy, ice cream, Nutella, bananas, berries, nuts, cinnamon etc. Popular sweet toppings include sugar (granulated or powdered), maple syrup, lemon juice, whipped cream, fruit spreads, sliced soft fruits, etc.
Crêpes are especially popular throughout France. The common ingredients include flour, eggs, milk, butter and a pinch of salt. Crêpes are usually of two types: sweet crêpes (crêpes sucrées) made with wheat flour and slightly sweetened, and savoury galettes (crêpes salées) made with buckwheat flour and unsweetened.
Another standard French crêpe is the crêpe Suzette, a crêpe with lightly grated orange peel and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier) which is subsequently lit.
The batter of the original French crêpe is usually made with white wheat flour when the crêpe is served as a sweet crêpe. It is made with buckwheat flour when the crêpe (rather called "galette") is served as a savoury crêpe. A batter made of 100% buckwheat flour is gluten-free. This makes it possible for people who have a gluten allergy or intolerance to eat crêpes / galettes (as long as the other ingredients of the dish are gluten-free, too, of course).
A crêperie may be a takeaway restaurant or stall, serving crêpes as a form of fast food or street food, or may be a more formal sit-down restaurant or café.
Because a crêpe may contain a variety of fillings, it can serve as both a main meal or a dessert. Savoury courses are usually served in the form of buckwheat galettes. Crêperies may therefore be quite diverse in their selection and may make other baked goods such as baguettes. They may also serve coffee, tea, buttermilk and cider (a popular drink to accompany crêpes).
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