Paris, Gluten & Crepes

There’s a lot to learn from the french when it comes to food, and it does’t stop at just preparation.  During my time in Paris last month, I had the opportunity to visit a few local crêperies. Of all the desserts and dishes i’ve come across in France, my favourite would have to be the crepe. I find it to be very representative of the french cuisine in its versatility and flavour. While the crepe suzette is prominent on all local menus, many cafes are now doing modern versions of both sweet and savoury crepes.

One of the best crêperies  I visited in Paris was La Creme de Paris. Not very popular with tourists, this little cafe is tucked away in a side street of Boulevard de Montmartre. They do some excellent organic ice creams, waffles and sweet and savoury crepes. My personal favourite was their sweet wheat crepe with Nutella and lots of strawberries.

I find crepes to be a great meal option for those looking to follow a low gluten or complete gluten-free diet. The most popular gluten-free crepes in France are made from buckwheat flour and originate from the region of Brittany. Though traditionally reserved for savoury dishes, these buckwheat crepes are now gaining popularity across the globe with their sweet versions.In Mumbai, cafe Suzette does excellent sweet and savoury buckwheat crepes.

Most countries do their own version of a crepe. In Austro-Hungarian and Austro-Bavarian regions they call their crepes palatschinken or palacinka and usually eat them with quark cheese, honey and fruit. I had a chance to try Russian crepe, also known as, Bliny. Although similar in texture, I found it to be slightly inferior in flavour when compared to it’s french counterpart. In the gluten-free range Injera in Ethiopian / Somali / Yemeni cuisine is made with a mix of local flours and spices, usually eaten instead of bread in a meal. Closer to home, we have the South Indian Dosa, made from rice flour, which can be eaten along with a meal or as a snack, usually served with a coconut chutney or gravy.

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