Crêpes, cider and seafood
The Belle France Guide to Breton delicacies
Each region of France has its own food specialities, and Brittany is no exception. This region has many influences, the main being from the coast, and also its proximity to Britain.
Therefore, holidaying here you are likely to see lots of seafood on the menu ready to be washed down with a glass of local Breton cider.
But that’s just for starters. If you are considering hopping over the Channel to visit the bustling seaside towns, wonderful beaches and dramatic coastline, you’re probably going to work up an appetite.
So here’s what you’re going to be eating and drinking. Delicious. The food and drink are almost enough of an excuse to visit on their own!
Brittany accounts for around 80% of France’s shellfish production, so you know you’re in the right place to taste the best that France has to offer. With many coastal towns and harbours you are never going to be far from a fresh fish market, or a restaurant cooking up the best the sea has to offer that day.
Oysters are widely farmed up and down the coastline, and are served very simply with butter and bread, and are best tasted between September and April.
Moules Marinières will be found in almost any restaurant, but for the crème de la crème, then try the ones around the Baie du Mont Saint-Michel, they have been given the AOC registration such is their quality.
Then there’s Soupe de Poissons, a mix of fish and shellfish, served with grated cheese and croutons. Or of course, for the freshest dish of them all, then you should plump for the Plateau de fruits de mer, langoustines, scallops, winkles and clams all served on a bed of seaweed. Exquisite.
The abundance of apple orchards in the region which mean cider is more popular than wine, in fact, vineyards can only be found when you get to the very south of the region. And of course, cider is a perfect accompaniment to seafood. In restaurants, cider is usually served from a ceramic cup called a bolée.
There are typically two types of pancakes that can be found in Breton restaurants, the sweet crêpe, and more savoury version, known as a galette. Savoury pancakes will usually be filled cheese, egg or ham, and sweet with chocolate, cream and almonds.
The perfect pairing with apples, you won’t go far without seeing a pork dish on the menu. Not just hot pork recipes, but you’ll find a fabulous selection of cold charcuterie meats too. Patés made with liver, rabbit and duck, or salamis made with a variety of spices are in abundance and all best served with a glass of cider.
Brittany is a key vegetable growing region, and is famous for cauliflowers, potatoes and white beans, known as Coco de Paimpol. Again, the best ways to taste these vegetables in Brittany are when they are served simply with salted butter
Cakes and pastries
Brittany has a few pastries which are unique to the region, the most common being kouign amann which is a delicious pastry, caramelised and very buttery. Then there’s the Far Breton, an eggy pudding filled with prunes and rich butter biscuits called Galettes au Buerre.
Now that’s a good spread, right?
Other dishes from neighbouring Normandy such as cheese (as Brittany doesn’t produce a lot of cheese) will also be easy to find here, and to drink, a little tipple of Calvados will also go well with a Breton menu.
Whether you are dining in a Michelin starred restaurant, or a simple café on a beach, you will be guaranteed beautiful, fresh ingredients which taste delicious, you will eat well, that you can be sure of!
We have a number of wonderful walking and cycling holidays in Brittany, all waiting to be discovered! If this has tempted your tastebuds, then get in touch, and we’d be delighted to arrange your Breton beach break!
Main article images:
Far Breton Pastry - DishMaps recipes
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