Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Mary Hardbarger | The Burgs
Jim Hamon and his wife, Amy Hahn, prepare crepes for a crowd Saturday at Blacksburg Farmers Market.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
A relative newcomer to the Blacksburg Farmer s Market, The Fresh Crepe embodies much of what I enjoy in gourmet food — well-balanced flavor and texture combinations, high-quality ingredients and wallet-friendly prices.
The Fresh Crepe features a wide array of sweet crepes, from simple butter and sugar to jam and goat cheese. Chocolate or caramel can be added to any sweet crepe for a modest 50 cents, although the owners have done a solid job of balancing complimentary flavors in their a la carte items. The Sweet Apple-Goat Cheese crepe, for example, teases the palate by offsetting the tangy flavors of goat cheese and lemon with a sweet burst of honey.
Depending on whether you order a savory or a sweet crepe, either a buckwheat or a wheat-based batter is ladled onto one of two piping-hot griddles and smoothed into a papery-thin layer . The crepe is cooked lightly on one side, then flipped to let the other side start browning while your choice of toppings go on. All the while, the owners chat amicably with the folks in line.
As your mouth is watering, the crepe is skillfully folded into a neat little package, brushed with a dash of butter and finally loaded onto a plate to be eaten with quaint wooden cutlery at one of a few nearby tables.
One of the standard savory varieties at the creperie, the Royale with Cheese, is a pleasure to order, bringing to mind an unsolicited image of Samuel L. Jackson and a slightly skewed vision of Europe. This crepe boasts aged raw cheeses, sauteed mushrooms and organic onions lightly dressed with bechamel sauce, and loaded (if you please) with breakfast-style sausage. The result is an earthy delight, with each bite bringing a slightly distinct set of flavors into focus.
The stand, which is run by a couple named Jim Hamon and Amy Hahn, typically has specials featuring seasonally available ingredients. On my latest visit, I enjoyed a Potato Masala crepe. Potatoes from a local farm are seasoned with cumin, mustard seed, green chiles and cilantro and paired wonderfully with a bright side of coconut chutney. The flavor of potato with the presence of exotic Indian accents, all wrapped in a nutty buckwheat shell, work together to create a clean, wholesome combination.
Another of the seasonal crepes featured a filling of pumpkin and cushaw squash, slow-cooked in spiced cider. This crepe is loaded with the full taste of fall. The lighter, wheat-based flour provide s a more delicate, airy flavor that pair s much more favorably with the sweeter filling. The resulting crepe is toasted to a warm, golden brown crispiness that simply beg s to be devoured.
The Fresh Crepe is fast becoming a favorite feature of the Blacksburg Farmer s Market. The owners have made a point to use local, organic ingredients as often as possible. Their recipes are fashioned with care, and their cheery attitude makes the wait more than tolerable . Between the diehard regulars and the fortunately curious marketgoers, there is usually a steep wait between the moment your nose first detects the smell of the browning batter and the time your mouth is pleasantly rewarded .
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us