Let me preface this by saying that I am a huge, huge fan of Vegan Yum Yum. She is an extraordinarily creative and gifted cook, photographer, and blogger who can transform almost any raw ingredients, and each step of the cooking process, into works of beauty and temptation. I am not, nor have I ever been, a vegan. And yet even then, her recipes entice me.
But, alas, our paths diverged when it came to her recent belief that French crêpes could, and should, be adjusted for a vegan diet. Instead of whole milk and eggs and butter, she used soy milk and an ominous material called “Earth Balance” and a can of cooking spray on a nonstick frying pan. And the results are tasty and liberating for vegans everywhere, but I feel hesitant in letting them be called “crêpes.”
Having lived near Brittany, where crêpes are more common than the baguette itself, I know and respect and love the power of the crêpe. And her vegan rendition made me strangely homesick for a reality that looks much more like this than this.
It makes me wonder at what point does a recipe simply cease to be? How much can we modify and bastardize it before it really and truly needs to be called something else? Does the word “crêpe” even work to define something not made from milk or eggs or butter? Wouldn’t the resulting substance – strangely white and lifeless – be better served by a new name altogether?