Postcard from Brittany & buttery pastries
“Les grandes vacances” : two full months of summer holidays in July and August for the french kids to enjoy. We are currently right in the middle of it and I thought I’d jump on the occasion to tell you more about Brittany, a region that brings back many great memories to me.
A few years back at this time of year, I’d be building sandcastles with my brother on a beach, handfishing crabs by the rocks, wandering in the streets of an old town in search for the best galette or maybe finishing up the tin box full of palets bretons ;)
Reputed mysterious and chaotic because of its capricious climate, Brittany remains nevertheless one of my favorite region in France. Land of legends, generous cuisine, breathtaking landscape are on today’s menu.
The first thing to know about Brittany is that its inhabitants, many of them at least, don’t really consider themselves french but breton, proud of their roots and of their vast culture. Sometimes you would hardly notice indeed that you’re in France, and it’s not because of the traffic signs written in the traditional dialect. You feel at the edge of the world, and that is what Britany is to France, the edge of the pentagon and landscapes resembling to mistake there with the Tasmanian or Victorian coasts!
The region offers a wide range of activities, which makes it a great holiday destination. Sailing through the Golf du Morbihan wandering to Belle-île-en-mer or it’s neighbor island l’île-d’Houat was one of my favorite! Far from the coast stands the mystical forest of Broceliande, center of the celtic culture, where druids, dolmen and legendary creatures are at the heart of many myths.
If you’re more of a town mouse, you won’t be disappointed either. The cities of Rennes, Quimper, Saint-Malo, Vannes, Pont Aven and many others are great to spend a day or more and wander in their historical city centers, visit unique art centers like the Naïa Museum or simply sit a terrasse (we’re still in France!) to enjoy a crêpe or…
How could I talk about Brittany without mentioning the food culture ?
At the heart of the cuisine bretonne, is the salty butter. When looking through local recipes, it is rare not to find it, whether it’s in pastry or savory specialties. Among my personal top 3 is the kouign amann, literally “butter pastry”, the crêpe dentelle, the crispy version, and of course if you’re a Gavé aficionado, you might have heard about my passion for palet breton..!
Still hungry? The famous and traditional galettes, close cousins of the crêpes are made out of buckwheat flour and delicious as a complete savory meal. In most restaurants, there will be served together with a bolée of cider, another emblematic product from the far west regions of France. Talking about drinks, have you heard about mead? A drink made with fermented honey and water and also very anchored in the Breton traditions, made originally by the druids.
I hope I’ve taken you in a pleasant trip far away from our current difficulties during a few minutes. More than ever, let’s celebrate our culture, our community and enjoy life in its simplicity, and what’s best than to do it with a delicious treat!
Where to get your next French treat?
If this reading whets your appetite, you can come find us and our all range of treats every weekend at the local farmers' markets on the Surfcoast and in Melbourne! Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to find out where we’ll be next!
Last but not least! Our online shop is open every day! We’ll be very happy to prepare your favourite treats and we deliver if possible!