Tasting Brittany

Tasting Brittany

Posted by Lyn on 8/13/2015 in Food & Drink

Brittany has a different language, different climate, and, of course, different food. Some of the most beautiful and interesting spots in France are here. It’s history dates back to prehistoric times and the evolution of the foods in Brittany, as elsewhere in France, have everything to do with the land and people.

Think Brittany and French pancakes comes to mind. Indeed, everywhere you go there’s another Crêperie. Crêpes are sweet and made with wheat flour, blé, while savory galettes are made with a buckwheat flour mix. The galettes may be filled with ham and cheese while the crêpe may have honey or berries or just some sugar. All are delicious.

Think Brittany and you also think about seafood. The land mass of Brittany juts into the water, 2800 km of coastline, and is the place to find the best and freshest seafood. Brittany produces 80% of the seafood consumed in all of France. There’s no end to seafood restaurants from the town of St Malo to Vannes. On the menu are familiar items such as mussels (moules) and scallops. French specialties, like the gray shrimp which are tiny and very sweet, are a must-try. A bowl of gray shrimp, along with a cider or white wine, can make for a pleasant afternoon.

It rains in Brittany. A lot. But that’s just perfect for stopping in another restaurant. Inside a lovely cup of seafood soup warms your insides as you watch the sea though the window.

The town of Cancale is where the flat oyster beds lie. At low tide you can see the beds just beyond the wharf where you can buy your oysters and eat them right there on the street. Yes, she’ll shuck them for you and put them on a plate.

Seafood is on the coast; the interior countryside, known in Celtic as Argoat, is where the lamb and pork come from. France is as concerned with organic,“Bio”, as we are in the US. In the charming town of Canac, there’s a fabulous butcher who still cuts his own “bio” meats. Quaint and very tasty.

The best part of rain is the rainbow at the end. Time to sit in a cafe and sip Kir Breton, cider with crème de cassis. Breton cider is well known. It goes well with kouign amann, a Breton butter cake soaked in honey.

Then walk the town—Canac, Pont-Aven, Concarneau, Vannes, St-Malo, and my favorite, Dinan. As Rick Steves says, “In France, if you have time for only one stop in Brittany, make it the ancient riverfront city of Dinan.” As different as Brittany is, when you see someone bringing home the baguettes for supper, you do know you’re still in France.

This sign sums it up, “Ici Tout Va Bien” (Everything Goes Well Here)

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