French figures: The Breton speciality that’s both sweet and savoury

Compare French crêpes to regular pancakes and expect to lose a few French friends.

French figures: The Breton speciality that's both sweet and savoury
Photo: AFP

Crêpes are a French culinary speciality that embodies a whole lot of national pride. They originated in Brittany, but today they are eaten all over France.

Crêpes are sweet, eaten with Nutella, jam, butter and sugar or some other topping of your fancy. You find them in traditional crêperies, which are restaurants that specialise in crêpes, or in outdoor sales booths on the street, or in any French village funfair.

Crêperies often do a mixture of crêpes and savoury galettes, which you eat with ham, cheese, eggs or whatever else is on the menu. (Breton restaurants usually offer delicious seafood options.)

Some French people would say you haven’t lived in France before you have eaten a traditional crêpe meal, which consists of a savoury galette accompanied with a bowl (not a cup) of cider, followed by a sweet crêpe.

If you want to find out whether a crêperie is worth it, an insider trick is to go and order the simplest crêpe on the menu: une crêpe beurre sucre (with butter and sugar).

If that makes your heart melt when eating it, you know you can safely spend your money on a full meal.

The video below shows a how Bretons made crêpes back in the day.

“You must love your dough while you're making it,” the woman says. It's worth a watch.

This article is part of The Local France's 2020 virtual advent calendar – every day until Christmas we will be presenting you with a person or object that has a particular significance to life in France.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


French figures: The true spirit of France

This is the incredible story about the teenage girl who became a symbol of France for the ages.

French figures: The true spirit of France
Illustration photo: AFP

The story of Joan of Arc – Jeanne d'Arc in French – begun like many fairytales do: an unlikely hero is chosen to accomplish a dangerous task.

Born around 1412, Joan of Arc was an illiterate peasant girl convinced that divine powers had decided she would fight the English army in France. 

She then did exactly that. 

This was during the so-called Hundred Years’ War, when English troops battled for territory across the country that is now France.

Joan of Arc liberated Orléans city from English forces in a legendary and decisive battle that paved the way for the later French victory in 1453.

Joan of Arc paid for her heroism with her life. She was captured and sold her to the English army, who burned her at the stake in Rouen, northeast France, around 1431. She was approximately 19 years old at the time.

But her short life left a lasting mark on France and in 1920 she was made a Saint. Almost 600 years after her death she is still commemorated and celebrated in France and her spirit is invoked during difficult times for the country.

Known today as “the Maid of Orléans”, Joan of Arc's silhouette is all over the city, ingrained on medallions on the street, cast into sculptures and painted on the boxes of Cotignac, an Orléans culinary speciality.

READ ALSO: Ten reasons why you should visit the French city Orléans

This article is the final instalment of The Local France's 2020 virtual advent calendar – featuring every day a person or thing that has a special place in French culture. To see the whole calendar, click here.