Crêpes were once eaten to celebrate La Chandeleur (Candlemas). But they were too darn tasty to wait all year for. With endless sweet and savory combos, they are a national comfort dish. Irresistible when in France, your tastebuds might thank you for mastering how to pronounce crêpe in French!
How To Pronounce Crêpe In French
A French pancake can be simple or a culinary canvas bursting with sweet and savory ingredients limited only by imagination and good taste. Whatever deliciousness you go for, they’re collectively called crêpes.
Une crêpe is a masculine word. L’accent circonflexe (circumflex) over the “ê” affects how to say crêpe, while the final “e” is silent.
Avoid the more English-sounding Krayp. Try saying crêpe with a short, sharp e sound, like Kr-ep, as heard in this clip of a French speaker saying crêpe.
Practice makes perfect. And the good news is, nobody stops at une crêpe. A sweet crêpe typically follows a savory round, customarily washed down with a glass of sweet cidre (cider). A palate-pleasing tradition for one of France’s favorite lunches.
Nobody does crêpes better than the Bretons of windswept Brittany. Wanderers from the crêperies (crêpe restaurant) spiritual home helped fuel a national love affair with the inexpensive yet indulgent dish, served as street food or in laidback restaurants.
Let’s look at a few more helpful words to help navigate the myriad temptations of a crêperie menu.
Crêpes Salées – Breton galette
Every crêperie meal begins with a crêpes salées. Literally translated, that’s a salted crêpe or a savory version of the pancake.
More commonly, savory pancakes are galettes. Originating in Breton (Brittany), a galette is used in French cuisine to describe flat cakes or biscuits.
In crêpe form, a galette is made with buckwheat (sarrasin) flour for a crispier, chewier, dark-colored crêpe suited to savory fillings.
Loaded up with favorites from France’s dazzling array of charcuterie and fromage (cheese) wonders, this Breton twist transforms a pancake into a meal. The all-time classic is a galette complete, made with ham, cheese, and the ever-popular egg.
Saying galette is a rare win for English phonetics, as it sounds like it reads. The final “e” is, predictably, silent. And there is an emphasis on the “a,” as you can hear in this French-speaking clip.
Crêpes Salées is more knotty for English speakers. Pronouncing salées like a crêpière is all about hitting that “é” with a rising sound, similar to saying “A.” As a feminine word, the final “es” is silent.
Have a go at saying Sal-A, then hone the accent with this recording of how to say crêpes salées in French.
savory crêpe (literally salty crêpe)
After wiping the plate clean of galette crumbs, it’s time for the sweet tooths to tuck into crêpes sucrées – sugar (or sweet) pancakes.
These are the crêpes sold from stands around the globe, often slathered in Nutella and pumped full of whipping cream.
Once again, the temptations are endless. Fruits, chocolate, and cream all feature. An irresistible original is the simple crêpes au sucre ou citron, crêpes with sugar or citron. Nobody will be surprised if you take both.
Pronouncing crêpes sucrées follows the same rules as crêpes salées.
The ending is silent, with an emphasis on the acute accent. And the opener is like saying zook, so no part of the word sounds like its English counterpart, sugar. Check out the audio for an impeccable pronunciation of crêpes sucrées.
If gripped by decision paralysis when eyeing the crêpes sucrées selection, a safe path to sweet nirvana is crêpes caramel, a crêperie staple.
Caramel au beurre salé is another Breton delicacy. A 1970s creation bringing together sweet and savory flavors, salted butter caramel and crêpes are a match made in gastronomic heaven.
What use is knowing how to pronounce crêpes if you can’t find a restaurant and practice ordering in French. Not a problem, crêperies are found all over France.
If you’re lost, crêperie sounds like kre-puh-ree in French. And like a temple of gastronomic indulgence in any language.
If you’re on a roll practicing how to say iconic French foods correctly, hop over to our guide on everything you need to know about baguettes. Or tickle your breakfast appetite with tips on how to say croissant like a French speaker.