Artistic & culinary fusion

love-opera-victoria-bakerThis summer, the culinary and visual arts will join forces at the reputed French crêperie Meli-Melo on Greenwich Avenue.

The beloved restaurant invites talented artists from all over town and beyond to exhibit at the restaurant. Percentage of sales will go to a charitable cause and the restaurant owners have a preference for lighthearted, positive images.

They are actively looking for beautiful paintings to adorn their walls and it’s a great opportunity for artists to be in touch with interested buyers and possibly help a worthy cause in the process. For more information regarding Meli-Melo menus, hours and location please log onto www.melimelogreenwich.com.

Meli-Melo specializes in a quintessential French food, the elusive but always delicious “crêpe”. A crêpe is a type of very thin, cooked pancake usually made from wheat flour. The word, like the pancake itself, is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning “curled”. While crêpes originate from Brittany, a region in the northwest of France, their consumption is nowadays widespread in France and is considered the national dish.

Buckwheat is the core ingredient of crêpes in Brittany. Buckwheat refers to plants of the polygonaceae family, which also includes rhubarb and sorrel. Technically, buckwheat is a fruit with a variety of healthful qualities. It’s an excellent plant source of easily digestive protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. Buckwheat was introduced to Brittany in the 12th century from the Middle East. It thrived on the desolate and rocky Breton moors and is still often referred to as “saracen”.

Crispier buckwheat crêpes were very popular in Southern Brittany. The batter was whipped using the fist for a more vigorous beating and the crêpes were then cooked on both sides on twin flat stones or cast iron biligs (which are the Breton large flat and rimless griddle used to make crêpes). These crêpes were very difficult to handle as they broke easily and crêperies have now stopped making them. Instead, they favor galettes which are easier to fill.

To the original ingredients for the traditional batter: buckwheat flour, water and coarse sea salt, we now add milk, eggs, melted butter and a bit of white flour to improve the texture and taste, or sometimes honey to improve the color. White flour crêpes appeared only at the turn of the 20th century when white wheat flour which formerly had been as expensive as sugar, honey or meat, became affordable.

In Brittany, crêpes are meant to be eaten the day they are made and are usually washed down with a glass of cider. Whether sweet or savory they are always delicious.

Meli-Melo is a taste of France here in Greenwich and I urge to indulge in its unique creations whilst taking note of the impressive paintings on the wall. And who knows, in treating yourself to a crêpe you may end up purchasing a painting and by granting your own culinary wish you may just further advance a worthy cause and make the world a better place.

Bon Apetit!

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