Are blintzes the same thing as crêpes?

No. Yes. Well…sort of, reader Alison. But all culinary roads need not lead to France, right? And anyway, crêpes are usually bigger. See? Not even close to the same thing.

13 thoughts on “Are blintzes the same thing as crêpes?”

  1. I would also add that blintzes are more “eggy” than crepes. (This is talking about white wheat flour crepes, as opposed to buckwheat flour galettes, specifically from the Brittany region of France. That’s really a whole different thing!) That makes for a different texture and a slightly different flavor. Blintzes have a more “springy”, “eggy” texture, where crepes are slightly more “bready.” The extra egg and butter makes blintzes slightly more “rich.” Typical crepes work mid-way for both sweet and savory, but I associate blintzes only with sweet fillings (but semi-savory fillings using a base of sour cream could be great also, but possibly non-traditional.)

    The last batch of crepes I made had a similar recipe to your blintz recipe, but with a lower ratio of egg to flour – your blintzes have 3 eggs to 1 US cup of flour, where the crepe recipe I used had 2 eggs to about the same amount of flour and milk (and the crepes had less butter). I’d say the closest cousin to the blintz might be the even larger (and slightly thicker?) Swedish pancake.

  2. This certainly isn’t definitive, but I thought I’d look up blintz and crepe at the Merriam Webster site. The main difference noted is: blintzes are filled with something, crepes are not (“crepe” refers to the pancake itself). They apparently can be folded or rolled, but there no mention that they are filled. So, is there a point in time when crepes evolved into being filled? Was the original crepe sort of like an omlette, only with some flour added to the batter? (I’ve always thought of crepes as being lighter than blintzes, but I don’t know why.)

    1) Definition of BLINTZE
    : a thin usually wheat-flour pancake folded to form a casing (as for cheese or fruit) and then sautéed or baked

    Variants of BLINTZE
    blin·tze or blintz \?blin(t)s\

    Origin of BLINTZE
    Yiddish blintse, of Slavic origin; akin to Ukrainian mlynets’, diminutive of mlyn pancake
    First Known Use: 1903

    2) Definition of CREPE
    1: a light crinkled fabric woven of any of various fibers
    2: crape 2
    3: crude rubber in the form of nearly white to brown crinkled sheets used especially for shoe soles
    4: a small very thin pancake

    3) Definition of CRÊPE SUZETTE
    : a thin folded or rolled pancake in a hot orange-butter sauce that is sprinkled with a liqueur (as cognac or curaçao) and set ablaze for serving

    1. Thanks for the great info, Chana! Pancakes are a tough topic, I appreciate you weighing in!

    2. Chana, I have always thought the difference between blintzes and crepes was that not only are blintzes always filled, and then reheated by frying or baking, but also blintzes are folded in a particular way. Crepes are usually folded around a filling with the ends open, but blintzes have the ends tucked in like an eggroll.

  3. Potato blintzes are traditional and savory. And it is also traditional to make the batter with water instead of milk and butter so that it is pareve.

  4. Hi, Joe,

    Have you ever had or heard about filloas? They are believed to be precursors to crepes and are typical of Galicia in Spain. Galicia is the area from where Celtics migrated to Ireland and the British isles (for years it was thought to be the other way around, even though that made no sense since even our bagpipes are older versions and feature less pipes!). Anyway, it is thought that filloas were typically made by the Celtics, a recipe that was later stolen…err…I meant popularized by the Romans all over Europe with some variations. The main difference between a crepe (and you cannot ever say to a Galician that the filloa is a type of crepe because they will get offended!) is that these do not have butter or fat (except for seasoning of the pan or stone where they are cooked). They are paper-thin, almost see-through and delicious with any kind of filling. Just like crepes, they can be eaten sweet or savory, and made with water (or any broth) for the savory versions, or milk for the sweet versions. Where we are from, we simply fold them as soft handkerchiefs and dip them in honey…that’s the simplest way to eat them. 🙂

    1. I certainly have heard of them, since my wife works in a university Spanish department and has friends who visit Galicia regularly. I’d go there just for the seafood, but the filloas would also be high on my list. I’ll have to try making them sometime soon. Thank you very much for the comment!

  5. I agree with Tom. Crepes are “lacy” when fried, with crisp, browned edges. Blintz/blini are a little spongy with tiny air bubbles in them throughout. Hard to describe but easy to tell when you are eating them.

  6. If you go to people house in Bretagne region France where the crêpe come from you will see the pile of crêpe ( they call them galette) on the dinner table used as bread! Just like the Mexican eat tortilla it’s their bread. Also the Ethiopian people do the same with a different version of sour crêpe. In fact it’s just flat bread.

    1. Hello Qbert, you mean like my official certification from the International Society of Food History Know-It-Alls? It’s hanging on the wall of my office. I could possibly take a picture and send it. Let me have your address.

      – Joe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *