- Breizh !
Last week-end was my very first time in Brittany…
Brittany, in Breton: Breizh, is a cultural region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain (as opposed to Great Britain). Brittany is considered as one of the six Celtic nations.
Brittany is home to many megalithic monuments which are scattered across the peninsula. The largest alignments are near Karnag/Carnac. The purpose of these monuments is still unknown, and many local people are reluctant to entertain speculation on the subject.
Brittany is also known for its calvary sculptures, elaborately carved crucifixion scenes found at crossroads in villages and small towns, especially in Western Brittany. Besides its numerous intact manors and châteaux, Brittany also has several old fortified towns.
Several festivals are of course maritime themed while others reflect Brittany’s lively music heritage or the region’s diverse culture. Traditional Breton festivals, ‘fest noz’ in Breton, regularly take place in towns and villages throughout Brittany and include local music and dancing. Brittany also hosts some of France’s biggest contemporary music festivals.
Historically Brittany was a beer-producing region. However, as wine was increasingly imported from other regions of France, beer drinking and production slowly came to an end in the early to mid-20th century. In the 1970s, due to a regional comeback, new breweries started to open and there are now about 20 of them. Whisky is also produced by a handful of distilleries with excellent results, such as Eddu distillery at Plomelin near Quimper, which elaborates a real and successful creation using buckwheat, Glann ar Mor distillery which makes an un-peated Single Malt, as well as a peated expression named Kornog. Another recent drink is kir Breton (crème de cassis and cider) which may be served as an apéritif.
Surrounded by the sea, Brittany offers a wide range of fresh seafood and fish, especially mussels and oysters. Among the seafood specialities is a fish stew called ‘Cotriade’.
Two days were far too short but enough to know that it is beautiful, it smells iodine and crêpes at the same time, lovely !
I went to visit my friend Vikki who opened a restaurant 3 years ago with her chef and Breton boyfriend. ‘L’Auberge des Rochers’ in Lanrelas (1 hour from Dinar airport) brings life and gastro food to the village. I couldn’t resist to go to spy on the chefs again…
I visited the Mont St Michel and St Malo with, in between, crêpes, cider and the famous omelette from ‘La mère Poulard’ restaurant. I knew it would be a very expensive omelette but I wanted to do that once thinking that I would have the most amazing omelette of my life… No, not at all. We paid 25 euros for a foamy and tasteless omelette. No herbs, no cream not even salt and pepper! Mine with smoked salmon came with a poor and dry piece of salmon on the side, same for my friend with her parma ham. I guess that we pay for the show, the two ladies whisking the eggs by hands for hours before cooking them on wooden fire in little cute frying pans. That’s it. Nothing more to say except that we went straight after that to a crêperie as we were still hungry !
‘Far Breton’ serves 6/8.
– 200g of flour
– 170g of sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 liter of milk
– 10g of vanilia sugar
– 300g of prunes pitted
Mix all the ingredients without the prunes in a pan. Put on low heat and stir until the mix thicken a bit.
Grease a baking tray with oil or butter and pour half of the preparation. Put the prunes and pour the other half on it.
Put it in the oven for around 50min at 180°. Kalon digor ! (Bon appétit!)
Auberge des Rochers, 22250 Lanrelas, Le Bourg, France. 0033(0)2 96 86 50 82