12 December 2016 by Jessica Boston
Brittany – Top 5 recommendations in a foodie paradise!
Just a short hop across the Channel but a world away from the UK when it comes to food, Brittany has some of the most delicious local produce and regional specialities in France. Discover excellent bakeries, markets piled high with glorious seasonal fruit and vegetables and fresh fish and shellfish from the clear waters off the Brittany coast.
Brittany is famous for the local seafood. The region has a long coastline and a history of fishing that stretches back centuries. If you want to find out more the Musee de la Peche in Concarneau is well worth a visit and includes a real trawler you can explore – fun for children, fascinating for adults.
Shellfish is very popular and oysters, mussels, clams, lobster and scallops feature in many classic Brittany recipes. Find them cooked with garlic, herbs, wine and shallots or presented to dramatic effect on crushed ice in a majestic Fruits de Mer.
You could also try a hearty fish stew; ‘Breton Cotriade’ is a fisherman’s dish made with monkfish or mackerel or, for something more decadent, choose ‘Pot au Feu de Homard’. This speciality from Roscoff includes lobster, prawns, oysters, mussels and scallops – what a feast!
Crêpes and Galettes
You’re probably familiar with crêpes – thin French pancakes that are filled and folded with sweet fillings like chocolate and Chantilly cream or apples in Calvados, but you may not have heard of their savoury cousins ‘galettes’.
Made in the same way as crêpes, but using buckwheat flour for a golden colour and nutty taste, galettes are the perfect light lunch. Choose from a bewildering array of fillings including ham, cheeses, egg, fish and vegetables to find your favourite. If you have the room you can follow up with a sweet crêpe for dessert!
Top 5 foodie recommendations for your holiday in Brittany:
1. Try the oysters at Cancale
Sit on the harbour wall overlooking the oyster beds to eat the freshest oysters bought from the pretty blue-and-white striped stalls there. Buy a selection to try the different types and drop the shells back into the sea as you eat!
2. Discover Brittany cider
Around 40% of France’s cider is produced in Brittany. There are many local producers you can visit to tour the apple orchards, see how the cider is made and taste the delicious results. A visit to Cidrerie Manoir du Kinkiz in Quimper comes highly recommended and has the additional bonus of a distillery making apple brandy too!
3. Taste Kouign Amann cakes
These small, buttery cakes are not often found outside Brittany so don’t miss the opportunity to try some with your coffee while you’re here. Each bakery has their own version with some adding apples or almonds, but all use the world famous Brittany butter for a rich, delicious flavour.
4. Eat Moules Mariniere overlooking the sea
No trip to Brittany is complete without dining on a steaming bowl of moules with crispy thin frites on the side (use an empty mussel shell as pincers to pick the succulent meats from the other shells for a real holiday feel!)
5. Visit Rennes market
The Saturday morning market in Rennes is the second largest in France. Go to shop or just to look – it’s an amazing experience and a slice of Brittany history as it’s been trading since 1622!