Brittany cuisine, gastronomy and drinks
Armor and Argoat have always provided a large number of products for an extremely varied and balanced diet. Better than that, the collected recipes showed the influence of exotic flavors, spices and aromatics that the sailors brought back: saffron, vanilla, rum, prunes ...
For several decades now, chefs have opened their notebooks, rediscovered the tastes of their childhood and worked on showcasing an immense culinary heritage. Fresh and healthy products.
Breton gastronomic specialties
- Pancakes and galettes: pancake or pancake? To put it simply, many crêperies in Brittany have easily adopted the distinction between buckwheat pancake (also called buckwheat) and wheat crêpe.
But the reality is much more complex. Depending on local traditions and the crepe maker's attachment to this tradition, we can find the old distinction between pancakes, thicker, pancakes, thinner, regardless of flour.
From a botanical point of view, it is not wheat, or even a cereal, since buckwheat belongs to the polygonaceae family, like rhubarb and sorrel. The production of buckwheat, devoid of gluten and cultivated without treatment thanks to its natural resistance, has experienced a new boom in the last twenty years. Buckwheat, crowned with an IGP (Protected Geographical Indication), has therefore gained its acclaim today. We appreciate its nutritional qualities similar to wheat, while being gluten-free.
- Fars: in lower Brittany, far is the most traditional way to prepare buckwheat and wheat flour. There are sweet versions like the famous prune far, and savory versions like Ouessant farz gwad (with pork blood). The most famous dish is the kig ha farz, typical of the country of Leon: large peasant stew in which we find vegetables, pork and of course far.
- Kouign Amann : a swoon.
See the kouign-amann recipe in pictures:
- Equally essential, the traou-mad and galettes de Pont-Aven, galettes de Pleyben, Fouesnant, Saint-Michel, crêArmel, fouace, pound cake and cakes from La Trinitaine, the entire range of LU biscuits (Petit Beurre, Paille d ' Or), Biscuiterie Nantes (Choco BN), as well as the Nantes cake.
- Butter : strong symbol and flagship product in Brittany. The salt simply allowed it to be preserved. But there is also a historical reason for the fact that the butter was salted: the Bretons were not subject to the payment of the salt tax; they used salt extensively.
- Salt : we no longer present the Guérande salt, one of the first local products to have become fashionable. On site, you will find it sold by the kilo at a fair price. Breton salt today owes its success to its quality more than to any exemption from tax!
Fish, shellfish and crustaceans
- Fish soups: what they are called cotriade ou scull, they have nothing to boil in wine, well seasoned. There are as many recipes as there are villages, as there are families and even as there are days in the year!
- The bar: noble fish par excellence, which appreciates estuaries and rough waters, where it likes to hunt. It can reach 80 cm.
- Seafood : attending an auction will make your mouth water: crabs, crabs, spiders, currypins, sea cicadas, galathea, shrimp and, of course, lobster ... All the ingredients are there to make one Breton dish.
- Mussels and oysters Saint-Michel (Vivier-sur-Mer), Pésur-Bélon, Gulf of Morbihan ... for oysters.
Mussels, marinière, bacon or mouclade, are on all restaurant menus in summer. Oysters can be enjoyed all year round, even outside the “r” months (where they are then much milder).
- With any luck you will find in the markets ofabalone ; do not hesitate, it is a wonder. Its ultra-protected fishing (banned from June 15 to August 31) saved the species, which can easily be found again on the tables on the north coast. Despite everything, its price remains high.
- Andouille: one of the great classics of Argoat. The most césur-Scorff (Morbihan) should be smoky, soft but not too oily. Just as exceptional, the andouille from Baye (South Finistère) which can be garnished with bacon.
But everywhere in Brittany, the small village pork butchers will offer you their homemade andouille, called "country"; very close to the andouille de Vire (in Normandy), it is a pure delight for breakfast (yes!), on a good slice of salted butter. In any case, prefer artisanal qualities: andouille does not support plastic or mediocrity.
- The priest Julien-de-Concelles, near Nantes, in 1880, by a cheese maker advised by a priest. It is a truly typical Brittany cheese. Its dough is soft, made from raw and whole milk. The only manufacturer is in Pornic. There are several variations, but our favorite remains the Muscadet one.
Fruits and vegetables
Argoat is today one of the leading French agricultural regions. Producer groups have made it possible to save and then develop traditional vegetables and are fighting intelligently to promote their products.
New potatoes from the îgris de Rennes, Chestnut (teillouse) from Redon are of great taste quality. Too bad their distribution remains so confidential, unlike early Nantes, whose carrots and lamb's lettuce are easily found on all French stalls.
Armor is not left out either since the great chefs became infatuated with the seaweed cooking.
Last American, the castle, which grows in whole fields in the land of Leon. This detox cabbage, favorite of nutritionists for its dietary qualities, is now all the rage in trendy French restaurants!
Cider, beer and chouchen
- The Cider : farmer, artisan, bouchéde-vie and in alcohol, in lambic and in pommeau.
- Beer and ale: today, there are around thirty brasseries in Brittany. And they make great beer! Pilsner lovers, go your way, here we brew Breton craft beer, unfiltered, unpasteurized and rather alcoholic. The most famous, Coreff de Morlaix, amber and strongly hopped, remains very traditional.
Bernard Lancelot, the other heavyweight, took the side of special beers. In addition to its slightly honeyed Cervoise, it offers around fifteen beers, including an organic buckwheat (Telenn Du), a white (Blanche Hermine), an elderberry flavored (Bonnets Rouges) ... In Huelgoat, in Finistère, As for the An Alarc'h brewery, it produces the Hini Du and the Tantad.
- The chouchen: Breton name for mead (chamillard in gallo). It was the drink of the gods, the druids and the newlyweds. Good water, good honey and natural yeasts are the only ingredients today in the composition of a chouchen worthy of the name.
While it is traditionally soft and grading more than 14 °, amateurs are now more inclined to turn to drier, more delicate chouchens.
On the other hand, it becomes difficult to find chouchens made from buckwheat honey, but some brands offer distinctive products.
Chefs are more and more interested in the scent that chouchen can bring to the kitchen, as well as a derivative product, l'Aigriade de miel, a chouchen vinegar, a pure one.
- Wines: the Nantes region is known for muscadet. Long considered, produced in the south of Nantes, and the Coteaux-d'Ancenis.
- Breizh Cola: Breton cola has been working together since 2002 to find a place in the big leagues. He has already carried out a putsch at the Lorient interceltic festival, to the detriment of the American giant, and it is not rare to hear customers in a bar in Brittany grumble because there is no Breizh Cola!
- Ribot milk: the Bretons have their fermented milk called ribot, from the word “ribotte”, a utensil used to churn butter. With its slightly tart taste and its sometimes grainy texture, it is very rich in nutrients and proteins (but low in fat and lactose!) And is easily digested. It traditionally accompanied the dry black wheat pancake.
Brought up to date by the Paysan Breton brand in the 2010s to overcome the end of milk quotas, it is experiencing a real revival today, entering into the composition of cakes (it is equivalent to the English buttermilk in pancakes) or served as a drink. sweetened with syrup for example.