The History of Crepes: From France to Maryland

The History of Crepes: From France to Maryland
Posted on May 21th, 2024

Crepes have long been a beloved dish, cherished for their versatility, deliciousness, and rich history. At Sofi’s Crepes, based in Annapolis and Severna Park, Maryland, we pride ourselves on bringing this iconic French delicacy to our local community. In this post, we will explore the fascinating origins of crepes in France, their journey across the Atlantic, and how they have become a staple in Maryland. We’ll also share some interesting facts and historical tidbits to entertain and educate you. Let’s dive into the delicious world of crepes!

The Birth of Crepes in France

The Origins

Crepes trace their roots back to Brittany, a region in northwest France, where they were traditionally made with buckwheat flour. The name "crepe" comes from the Latin word "crispa," meaning "curled," which describes their thin, curled edges. Buckwheat, introduced to Brittany in the 12th century, became the primary ingredient due to its ability to thrive in the region's poor soil conditions.

The Evolution

Initially, crepes were simple, rustic fare. They were cooked on large, flat, cast-iron griddles called "billigs" and served with savory fillings like cheese, eggs, and ham. Over time, the French began to experiment with different flours, leading to the creation of sweet crepes made with wheat flour. These sweet variations were typically enjoyed with sugar, fruit preserves, or chocolate spreads.

Cultural Significance

In France, crepes are more than just a dish; they hold cultural significance. The French celebrate "La Chandeleur" or Candlemas, on February 2nd, by making and eating crepes. This tradition symbolizes prosperity for the year ahead. People would flip crepes with one hand while holding a gold coin in the other to ensure wealth and happiness.

Spreading Across France

Crepes quickly spread from Brittany to the rest of France, becoming a beloved part of the national cuisine. They could be found in street stalls, cafes, and homes across the country. The versatility and simplicity of crepes made them a popular choice for both everyday meals and special occasions.

Crepes Cross the Atlantic

Arrival in America

Crepes made their way to America through French immigrants and travelers. Initially, they were a novelty, primarily found in French restaurants in major cities like New York and San Francisco. However, as more people discovered their deliciousness, crepes began to gain popularity across the country.

Adaptation and Innovation

Americans embraced crepes, often putting their own spin on traditional recipes. While the classic French fillings remained popular, new, creative combinations emerged. Savory options like the Crepe Reuben, with corned beef, sauerkraut, gruyere, and thousand island dressing, and sweet delights like Nutella and banana crepes, became favorites.

The Rise of Creperies

The rise of creperies in the United States marked a significant shift in the accessibility and popularity of crepes. These specialty eateries focused on serving a variety of crepes, both sweet and savory, allowing customers to enjoy the dish in a casual, fast-casual setting. This trend helped cement crepes as a staple in American cuisine.

Influence on American Breakfast

Crepes also influenced American breakfast culture. They offered a lighter, more elegant alternative to traditional pancakes and waffles. Breakfast crepes like sausage, egg, and cheese, or blueberries and maple syrup, became popular choices, showcasing the versatility of crepes in different meal settings.

The Maryland Connection

Arrival in Maryland

In Maryland, crepes found a warm welcome, particularly in areas with strong French culinary influences. The state's diverse food scene and appreciation for gourmet cuisine provided a perfect backdrop for crepes to flourish.

Sofi’s Crepes: A Local Favorite

At Sofi’s Crepes, we have embraced the rich history and versatility of crepes, bringing them to the vibrant communities of Annapolis and Severna Park. Since our founding, we have become a local favorite, known for our delicious, freshly made crepes that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.

Community Involvement

Our commitment to the community goes beyond serving great food. We actively participate in local events, support schools, and cater to bikers and boaters looking for a nutritious snack or meal. Celebrities like Kevin Bacon and Cal Ripken have even stopped by to enjoy their favorite crepes, adding to our local charm and appeal.

Popular Crepes at Sofi’s

Some of our most popular savory crepes include The Godfather, with pepperoni, mozzarella, salami, roasted red peppers, and spinach, and The Kevin Bacon, featuring turkey, bacon, cheese, and tomatoes with thousand island sauce. For those with a sweet tooth, options like The Bananarama, with banana, granola, honey, and peanut butter, and Crepe Suzette, with orange marmalade and Grand Marnier, are sure to delight.

Interesting Facts and Historical Tidbits

Crepes and Royalty

Did you know that crepes have been served at royal courts in France? Their elegant presentation and delicious taste made them a favorite among French nobility. Today, they continue to be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, transcending social classes.

The Largest Crepe

The largest crepe ever made was created in 2012 in France. It measured over 15 meters in diameter and was cooked on a specially designed griddle. This impressive feat showcased the culinary expertise and love for crepes in their country of origin.

Crepe Varieties Around the World

While France is the birthplace of crepes, many cultures have their own variations. In Russia, for instance, blinis are small, thick crepes often served with sour cream and caviar. In Hungary, palacsinta are thin crepes filled with sweet or savory ingredients. These international variations highlight the universal appeal of crepes.

Crepes in Pop Culture

Crepes have also made their mark in pop culture. They have been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and books, often symbolizing sophistication and gourmet cuisine. Their appearance in media has further boosted their popularity and allure.

Making Crepes: A Culinary Art

The Perfect Batter

Creating the perfect crepe starts with the batter. At Sofi’s Crepes, we use a carefully crafted recipe that combines the right proportions of flour, eggs, milk, and butter. The batter is then left to rest, allowing the ingredients to meld and create a smooth, lump-free mixture.

Cooking Techniques

Cooking crepes requires skill and precision. Our chefs expertly pour the batter onto a hot griddle, spreading it evenly to achieve a thin, uniform layer. The crepe is then cooked to golden perfection, ensuring a light and airy texture.

Filling and Folding

Once cooked, the crepe is filled with an array of delicious ingredients. Whether it’s the savory combination of shredded pork and cheddar cheese in our BBQ crepe, or the sweet indulgence of Nutella and banana, each crepe is carefully crafted to balance flavors and textures. The final step involves folding the crepe into a neat, portable package, ready to be enjoyed.

A Crepe for Every Occasion

At Sofi’s Crepes, we believe there’s a crepe for every occasion. From breakfast options like bacon and maple syrup to dessert delights like S’mores with chocolate, melted marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs, our menu offers something for everyone. Each crepe is made to order, ensuring freshness and quality in every bite.

Join Us at Sofi’s Crepes

Experience the Tradition

We invite you to experience the rich tradition and delicious flavors of crepes at Sofi’s Crepes. Our locations in Annapolis and Severna Park are perfect spots to enjoy a meal with family and friends. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, we’re here to provide you with a memorable dining experience.

Get Involved

We are proud to be a part of the community and are always looking for ways to give back. Through our support of local schools and participation in community events, we strive to make a positive impact. Join us in our efforts to support the community and enjoy some fantastic crepes along the way.

Franchise Opportunities

Interested in becoming part of the Sofi’s Crepes family? We offer franchise opportunities for those passionate about bringing the joy of crepes to new locations. Contact us to learn more about how you can start your own Sofi’s Crepes and join our growing network.

Visit Us Today

Come and taste the best crepes in Maryland at Sofi’s Crepes. Our friendly staff, delicious menu, and welcoming atmosphere make us the perfect destination for a quick snack or a leisurely meal. Don’t forget to snap a photo with our celebrity visitors’ wall and share your experience with us!


The journey of crepes from France to Maryland is a story of culinary innovation and cultural exchange. At Sofi’s Crepes, we are proud to carry on this tradition, serving up delicious, freshly made crepes to our community. Whether you’re enjoying a savory Crepe Reuben or a sweet Nutella crepe, you’re part of a rich history that spans continents and generations. We invite you to visit us at our Annapolis and Severna Park locations, or reach out at [email protected] to learn more about our offerings. Come experience the magic of Sofi’s Crepes today!

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