Crepes originated in northern France and are traditionally made with wheat flour; however, I’m delighted to report that a new restaurant in Raleigh, NC offers buckwheat crepes!
Buckwheat, also called a pseudocereal, is not related to wheat. It is not a grain and does not belong to the grass family, but still produces fruits that can be used to make bread flour.
Where: Simply Crepes, Lafeyette Village, 8470 Honeycutt Rd, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27615
GF Menu: Yes! Their menu states, “All entrées and desserts can be made with a Gluten and Lactose Free buckwheat crêpe for [an additional] $1.00.”
What I ate: Turkey and Smoked Gouda Cheese Buckwheat Crepe + Chocolate Peanut Butter Creme Buckwheat Crepe
How to order it: Select a crepe from the menu, which currently features about 16 different entrees. Double-check with your server whether or not the contents of that particular crepe are in fact Gluten-Free. Place your order, stating that you want your dish to be prepared in the GF buckwheat crepe.
When we visited, our server asked us, “Are you ordering Gluten-Free based on a dietary preference, or do you have an allergy?” Surprised at this question, we asked why they needed to know. She informed us that the kitchen requires this information in order to take extra precautions when preparing dishes for those with food allergies.
What it looks like:
A warm and savory mountain of thinly sliced turkey, bacon, smoked Gouda cheese, fresh greens, tomatoes, and maple mustard vinaigrette, swaddled in a fresh-off-the-skillet buckwheat crepe.
Why stop at one crepe when you can have two? The crepes are so light and fluffy, I didn’t feel guilty about ordering dessert. I opted for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Creme Crepe. Fresh peanut butter cream, chocolate fudge, bananas, and vanilla ice cream were gift-wrapped in a delicate buckwheat crepe topped with double chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Green Note: Buckwheat is healthy for your body and the earth. While researching its properties, I found a page titled “The Basics of Buckwheat”, which explains how buckwheat is also a smart agricultural choice for farmers:
Buckwheat has a variety of healthful properties. It’s an excellent plant source of easily digestive protein and contains all eight essential amino acids, so it’s close to being a “complete” protein. Buckwheat is also high in fiber (a big bonus for celiacs), B vitamins and, according to a USDA study, keeps glucose levels in check better than other carbohydrates — which is good news for celiacs who also have diabetes. It’s also said to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
Buckwheat is hardy, which makes it resistant to damage and therefore relatively inexpensive and easy to grow. Tom Bilek, a Minnesota buckwheat grower, says “buckwheat will grow on anything.” According to the National Buckwheat Institute, Buckwheat is one of the few commercially grown crops that does not use chemicals.
To the Owners and Staff of Simply Crepes, I’d like to say, “Merci Beaucoup!”