About crêpes and galettes

Crêpes are made from white wheat flour and Galettes from buckwheat flour. Both are traditional products from Brittany. An area of Celtic origin located in the west of France.

 

Buckwheat is the core ingredient of galettes in Brittany. Buckwheat refers to plants of the polygonaceae family, which also includes rhubarb and sorrel. Actually, buckwheat is a fruit. Buckwheat has a variety of healthful qualities. It's an excellent plant source of easily digestive protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. Buckwheat is also high in fiber.

 

Buckwheat was introduced in Brittany in the 12th century from the Middle East. It thrived on the desolate and rocky Breton moors and is still often referred to as "Saracen".

 

If the generic name for galettes and crêpes is nowadays "crêpes" - one says a "crêperie" and not a "galetterie" when referring to a restaurant serving both specialties. These two dishes used to have very different preparations because of their geographic origin.

 

On the one hand, buckwheat galettes, which are thought to come from Northern Brittany used to be cooked in a frying pan on one side only. They were tender and could be cut in narrow ribbons to thicken soups or broths as well as covered with eggs, "pâté", sausage, sardines or any other local produce.

 

On the other hand, the crispier buckwheat crêpes were very popular in Southern Brittany.The batter was whipped "with the fist" and the crêpes were then cooked on both sides on twin flat stones or cast iron biligs (the Breton large flat and rimless griddle used to make crêpes).These crêpes were very difficult to handle as they broke easily and crêperies have now stopped making them. Instead, they favor galettes which are easier to fill. To the original ingredients for the traditional batter: buckwheat flour, water and coarse sea salt, we now add milk, eggs, melted butter, and a bit of white flour to improve the texture and taste, or sometimes honey to improve the color.

 

Nowadays, galettes are mostly served with salty fillings (eggs, ham, cheese, sausages and seafood...) but you can imagine all kinds of fillings (vegetables, fish or ground beef…) without limits.

 

Smaller and thicker galettes, with stiffly beaten egg whites added to the batter, can be served as snacks like Russian blinis covered with trout, salmon or lumpfish caviar, kippers, smoked eel, salmon or red snapper.

 

White flour crêpes appeared only at the turn of the 20th century when white wheat flour which formerly had been as expensive as sugar, honey or meat, became affordable. They are as thin as buckwheat crêpes but softer thanks to the eggs, the milk and the butter used to make them. One or two tablespoons of buckwheat flour can be added to enhance the taste and they can be filled in various ways: butter, sugar, honey, chocolate, fresh fruits and preserves…

 

The wide array of ways to prepare so called white wheat flour crêpes is as great as the imagination of the gourmet who eats them. Everything, no matter how exotic, is allowed.

 

In Brittany, crêpes and galettes are traditionally served with glasses of dry cider.

 

You should eat crêpes and galettes the day you make them. However, should you wish to prepare them a day in advance, here are two methods for storing them: you can either choose to wrap them under a plastic film or, more traditionally wrap them in a damp kitchen towel and keep them in the bottom of the fridge.

The chef's recipe,
every month !

The Chef's recipe of the month

" The Wholemeal snack ! "

The chef crêpe's good tip for a snack : When you make your galettes in advance or if you buy them, you can prepare a quick and good complete galette.

 

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