Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Sep 19 04:24:57 PDT 2010
On Sep 19, 2010, at 5:10 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:
> What is a crepe? How does it differ from a pancake?
Crepes don't differ from pancakes, because all crepes are pancakes. However, not all pancakes are crepes, so you could say they differ from crepes. But crepes don't differ from pancakes.
> Is it just that the former is savory instead of sweet?
No, it can be either.
> Or does a pancake have more leavening in it?
No, just different. Crepes tend to be made without chemical or other fermenting leavening, such as yeast -- they do contain a high proportion of egg, though, compared to most other pancakes, which tends to make them rise slightly in cooking.
> Does the batter tend to be runnier than pancake batter, resulting in a thinner result?
Generally, yes. All that is required for a pancake to be a pancake is that it be cooked in a pan. The rest is up to debate and/or stylistic differences. The logical problem here is that you seem to be desirous of establishing that crepes and pancakes are two distinct groups, not intersecting sets of things, which they are, unless you mean something very specific when you refer to pancakes. I'm starting to assume you mean the family of chemically-leavened, American flapjacks, buckwheat (or not), buttermilk (or not), hotcakes, etc., of the sort one eats with butter and syrup, or possibly molasses. Do people eat anything with molasses as a condiment? Not sure; I despise it.
However, in Europe and outlying areas, when one says "pancake", yes, it's cooked in a pan, usually but not always from a batter rather than a dough, and usually resembles a crepe. It may or may not contain yeast, but eggs are quite common. Sometimes served rolled around a filling, sometimes just rolled around nothing, sometimes folded in quarters around a filling, or folded around nothing, folded and sauced, folded and dredged with sugar, or dredged in sugar without folding or rolling. Oh, and sometimes served with a sauce, but not rolled or folded.
Have I covered everything?
> I don't think I've ever had a crepe before, although I've had pancakes. I seem to remember IHOP serves crepes but I've not tried one of theirs, either.
> Now that you mention this "where one was instructed to swirl around the batter", I remember that on a recent show Food Truck Challenge or some such, one of the trucks specialized in crepes, and I remember seeing them pour the batter on the griddle and swirl it around with some kind of utensil. Is that a common thing/requirement in making crepes?
Actually, no, but it may be a common requirement for cooking in trucks. Maybe if one is parked on a hillside or something?
"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
-- Rabbi Israel Salanter
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