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History of the Crepe

on April 30, 2018
In America, the crepe is often inappropriately slandered with the misnomer “skinny pancake.” While this term may inspire a chuckle and signify some resemblance to the popular French dish served both sweet and savory, the crepe’s history and cultural gravitas bears significantly more weight than the common flapjack. Even the name of the dish is inter-woven with deeper cultural meaning and textured resonance. Crepe is also used to describe fine cloth or other fabrics made of thin materials with a crinkled surface. This material definition carries a similar aesthetic to it as the textural joy that is the culinary crepe. Versatile, fluffy, and filling without demanding too much of the digestive system, by now you most likely can imagine what we are talking about. Whereas pancakes come with the common associations of butter, syrup, sausages, and other classic North American breakfast foods, creperies carry menu items for all times of the day and every meal. The crepe can encompass within its floury body the flavor elements of a robust breakfast, hearty lunch, complete dinner, or a sweet dessert. There are few places to better experience the crepe than on the streets of Paris. From brick-and-mortar creperies to roadside stands and street vendors, you can find all varieties ranging from the traditional to various modern innovations in crepe concoctions. That being said the crepe has also taken off in various other parts of the world, as well. And, many cultures have culinary traditions which may not bear exact similarity to the crepe, but still derive inspiration from, or to, the dish originating from the Bretagne region of France. In the United States, many people largely associate the crepe with a sweet flavor profile for breakfast or dessert, but more and more full-range creperies are popping up every year. In other regions, such as Japan, parts of Africa, and South American countries, they have their own variations of “flatbread” which have similar consistency and base elements to those crepes found in the City of Lights. Which is not to say that the French lack unique zeal for their particular variation on the hybridization of spongy pancake and thin flatbread: In fact, in France there is a special holiday celebrated on February 2nd, formerly known as Virgin Mary’s Blessing Day, but now known as a more family-oriented holiday commemorating the decline of the winter season with a family meal of crepes. It is called Le Jour Des Crepe and is also known as La Chandeleur, and it is a special day for crepes and light in France. At Atlas, we like to treat every day like it is a special day when we prepare our signature, internationally-inspired items for our welcomed guests. Whether you are looking at a birthday celebration, something less formal, or a simple brunch meal, we go to great lengths to embody and celebrate the flavors, textures, and cultures represented on our plates. So many different people and events have contributed to the foods of our world, so when we serve them to you, we try to honor those innovations and traditions. Whether you are looking for a classic crepe or a world-class steak, stop by or make a reservation soon!
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