The “market garden of France”, Brittany is a peninsula on the north-western corner of France. It is categorised as a Celtic nation, one of the five along with Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall (to a lesser extent). Sometimes referred to as Lesser Britain, they speak Breton (not French) which is similar to Welsh and Celtic in origin.
This beautiful region is famed for many different food delights along its 750mile coastline; the list is almost as long as the coastline. Ble noir is a type of buckwheat flour which is produced in Brittany and forms the basis of the crepes in the west and galettes in the east. Both types of pancake are favourites in Brittany; enjoyed either hot or cold they can be stuffed with almost anything.
The galettes from the region’s easterly area, which they make with buckwheat and water, are flatter and less airy than the crepes which they eat in the west of the region. Try one filled with grilled pork sausage for a really traditional taste of Brittany and wash it down with a glass of the local cider.
Galettes are available almost everywhere in the east from cafes and mobile stalls, which pop up at most local sporting and cultural events, to stalls at the roadside. Crepes are made with eggs instead of water making them spongier and lighter in texture. They can be filled with either savoury or sweet goodies, just like galettes. Traditionally they are best enjoyed with Breton buttermilk – lait ribot.
These galettes and crepes are enjoyed at all times in the region. At breakfast time they are served with stewed or fresh fruit, during the day they are served as savoury food while during the evening the region’s best chefs turn them into extremely sophisticated desserts.