It’s a cross-cultural crepe smackdown in Park Slope, where an Italian take on the traditional French pancakes promises to knock the socks — err, chaussettes — off even the most devout Francophile.
The newcomer is Crespella, an espresso bar and Italian creperie that opened two weeks ago on Seventh Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets.
“A lot of people know crepes as being just a French thing, but they are actually very popular in Italy,” said co-owner Maria Zito-Bucca, a Brooklyn-born Sicilian.
The thin savory or sweet pancakes originated in Brittany, which, maps tell us is in France, so Crespella does offer a nod to traditional French crepe varieties, such as Nutella and banana.
But most offerings are inspired by Italy, such as the tiramisu crepe with mascarpone and biscotti or the savory mortadella, fontina and arugula crepe.
Another difference is skin deep (literally): Zito-Bucca uses chickpea flour instead of the traditional French wheat flour to give her pancakes a slightly salty taste.
“Being Sicilian, I am a huge fan of panelle sandwiches,” said Zito-Bucca, who also owns the Sunset Park pizzeria Sliceria with her husband, Marcello Bucca. “In honor of my guilty pleasure, I wanted to use chickpea flour to create the crepes.”
And it doesn’t matter which European country earns your allegiance — everyone loves the Stumptown coffee that Crespella serves.
Crespella [321 Seventh Ave. between Eighth and Ninth streets in Park Slope, (718) 778-2980].