When I arrived in France, I was told by a friend that I had to try the French crêpes – especially the savoury ones – they were to die for. A slightly extreme reaction to good food, I decided to search out these crêpes myself, sweet or savoury, because let’s face it, who’s not always in the mood for pancakes??
Sitting down under a canopy in a small restaurant on the pier, I opened the menu. It took me a while to find the crêpes, located at the back, under “desserts”. My French is pretty basic, and having already fumbled with le langue français when I first entered the restaurant, I began to feel that humiliation all over again when preparing to order nothing more than a dessert at 12 noon. If it was out of the ordinary then they didn’t let on – although my unfortunate lack of French means that had they made a snide comment, I wouldn’t have known.
As it was midday, ordering the fully blown ‘crêpe et glace’ would have been overkill, so my sister and I went for the simpler option of ordering a crêpe with just one topping. She went for honey and lemon, and I went for strawberry jam.
Maybe it was only because we were in France and caught up in ‘la vie’, or maybe it was because we were so hungry, but the crêpes tasted magnifique. They had folded them over twice so it was presented as a quarter-circle, with our toppings lavishly spread out over the soft folds of the brown skin of the massive pancakes. The sun shone down brightly overhead, the light canopy not really keeping out any of its heat, and we sat in silence and ate – after we’d taken a photo of the crêpes looking prime for #insta.
We made a day trip to La Rochelle a few days later, and unfortunately I wasn’t that hungry when we stopped for a snack, but my dad tried a banana crêpe and my brother ordered un crêpe chocolat. The banana looked delicious, softened from the heat of the crêpe folded around it, spread across it almost like butter. The chocolate was quite clearly continental, as I found after scraping some of the excess off my brother’s plate. It didn’t taste like the overly sugary British chocolate that we’re all so used to. It was rich, dark, slightly rough, and just proper chocolate.
Surprisingly not as filling as you could pessimistically expect, if you travel abroad, especially to France, you now know what to order if you want to avoid having a crêppey holiday.