A Taste of Food and Drink in the Brittany Region of France

by Linda April 03, 2014

Nestled in the far north-western corner of France, the region of Brittany (or Bretagne in French) is famous for its local cuisine. The most popular dishes are based on seafood or pancakes.

Unlike most of the rest of France where wine is preferred, locally-produced cider is a popular alcoholic drink. Do not leave Brittany without sampling some of the delicious local food and drink.

Seafood

Brittany has a long coastline bordering the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. Fishing is still an important industry and freshly-caught seafood (fruits de mer) is a key part of the local diet. In many restaurants, you will see succulent mussels (moules) on the menu. They are usually cooked in a white wine and onion sauce and may be served with fries (frites). 

Oysters (huîtres) are another popular local delicacy, with the Brittany region being the largest producer of flat oysters (huîtres plates) in France. The small seaside town of Cancale is considered to be the oyster capital of France, with many of the top Parisian restaurants sourcing their oysters from there. Oysters are served as an appetizer in restaurants and are sometimes accompanied by bread and creamy, locally produced butter. Oysters can also be bought from roadside stalls, markets and supermarkets. 

If enjoy eating seafood, order a seafood platter containing a variety of locally caught seafood, including crab, scallops, shrimps, lobster, crayfish, clams, and wrinkles.

Sweet Thin Pancakes (Crêpes)

Crêpes are very thin pancakes with a variety of sweet flavorings, including sugar, jam, chocolate spread, caramel, whipped cream (chantilly), apples, and strawberries. Crêpes are very popular in Brittany. In every town you will find several crêperie restaurants where you can enjoy crêpes and other local dishes.

Buckwheat Pancakes (Galettes)

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Thicker than crêpes, galettes are pancakes made from buckwheat flour and crammed with savory fillings. You can choose from a wide variety of fillings such as cheese, ham, egg, smoked salmon, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and potatoes. Galettes are often served as entrees in crêperie restaurants, followed by crêpes for dessert.

Kouign Amann Cakes


Kouign Amann cakes are small, sweet round cakes made from butter. They may also contain apple or almonds. Buy warm, freshly-made Kouign-Aman cakes from a bakery (boulangerie) and savor their delicious buttery taste.

Cider

Brittany is an important cider-producing region, accounting for around 40 percent of France’s total production. Different types of cider (cidre) are produced throughout Brittany using apples that grow abundantly in the local orchards. 

An ice-cold Breton cider is the perfect accompaniment to a traditional Breton meal consisting of either seafood or a galette. In crêperie restaurants, local cider is served in a large ceramic cup known as a bolée.

Wine

Only two types of wine are produced in Brittany: Muscadet and Gros-Plant. Both are dry white wines. Muscadet wines have a fruity flavor and complement seafood very well. Gros-Plant wines are less well-known and are only sold locally, so it is a good idea to try one during your visit.

This is a just a small overview of the many local delicacies that you will find in Brittany. If you walk through the region’s streets and markets, you will find many new aromas and culinary experiences waiting for you.


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