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Discussion in 'Cookery' started by beckycharles, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Hi all,
    I'm so excited, just booked our first holiday to France (neither myself or OH have been since we were teenagers)! We are staying in Brittany and was wondering if anyone knew of any local specialities that I must try? I'll eat almost anything and don't want to miss out on something special!
    Also, what would it be worth stocking up on at the hypermarket before coming home?
    Only four weeks to wait!!
  2. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Cauliflower is a local speciality!
    Strawberry jam from Plougastel is divine...

    Where in Brittany are you going?
  3. We're staying in Dinan but will be driving around a little bit!
  4. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Oceanopolis in Brest is worth a visit - nothing to do with food though!
  5. Ideas for places to go are gratefully accepted too!!

  6. I have never been to Brittany but lived in France for a year as part of my degree and go back every year! Make sure you buy a baguette from a boulangerie. French bread here in Blighty is nowhere near as good as the real thing! Tartiflette is lovely (potatoes, reblochon cheese and bacon are the basic ingredients) but is quite a wintry dish. If you are both meat eaters, definitely have a meal involving duck (e.g. magret de canard, confit de canard). I have never eaten badly cooked duck in France. Just be careful if you're someone who likes your meat well done. In my experience, the French don't really "do" well done which is fine for me as I don't particularly like meat well done, but I know some friends have found themselves caught out!
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Seafood, fish, crepes and cider are famous Breton specialities. You must try Phare Breton, a baked flan with prunes. It's seriously delicious. Artichokes are easy to come by and the tomatoes and carrots excellent.
    Dinan is close to Normandy, so you'll be able to buy all the wonderful Norman cheeses and charcuterie from across the border.

    Almost forgot - the 'galettes au beurre' and other similar biscuits are wonderful. They come in pretty tins and make excellent gifts.
  8. Thanks all, sounds like I will be in for some culinery treats!! [​IMG]
  9. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    PHARE Breton ??????????????
    I think you mean FAR Breton, inky!!! You made me laugh, though !
    Inky is right, though. OP: you must try the local seafood, galettes and crêpes (galettes are savoury and made with buckwheat flour), cider, various butter biscuits and cakes (Bretons love their butter).
    The person who mentioned eating magret is a bit off the mark for Brittany, that's more a south west speciality. Brittany is very much a pork farming area. Best to try the ' plat du jour ' as you'll get local specialities.
    Be warned, though : Brittany has been VERY wet and cold so far this summer. Temperatures have struggled to reach 20° for most of June there.
  10. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I'm glad I made you laugh but I did mean phare Breton, Landaise. Google a French recipe site.
    I'm going to try maing it this weekend.
  11. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I've been googling and both spellings come up... [​IMG]
    and yes, I know that phare means lighthouse!
    And it's delicious...
  12. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Its clearly our local Norman bakery that gets it wrong. F looks more Breton than ph, after all.
    Do you make it, Landaise?
  13. Don't forget the crepes - savoury crepes are gorgeous.
    Dinan is absolutely wonderful.
    The shops are just beautiful, we bought dad the perfect oversized chocolate cup (for his coffee) forma the street behind the main square. The craft and art galleries are amazing, though the street is amazingly steep.
    The view form the ramparts is a must see. I could go on forever - we love the place.
    Take the boat trip to St Malo and the bus back (it's quicker). St Malo town is a must. You could also take a trip to Cancale (East of St Malo) - osyter capital of the whole wide world and just amazing (if you like oysters).
    Mont St Michel is closer than you think (50km) but the whole of the Emerald Coast is gorgeous and you could lose yourself for hours on many of its beaches.
    Now you have me planning a return.... 24th wedding anniversary maybe - we went there on our honeymoon [​IMG]
  14. Thanks everyone, some great tips! I hope the weather picks up a little bit!!
  15. I'd like to change something - bus to St Malo and boat back, the early evening is a great time to float the Rance - some of the sights are amazing. We had a whole discussion about Narnia and Marsh Wiggles because of the stilt 'houses'. Odd but memorable.
  16. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Buy the tins of pate in the supermarket and the tins of petits pois tres fin, so much nicer than the tinned peas here. Tarte á la Normande freezes well, cheese is great but doen't freeze!!
  17. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Regarding hypermarkets, we always buy:
    - saucisson
    - tins of cassoulet
    - tins of confit duck
    - pate de foie gras
    - fresh mousse de canard (eaten within a day or so of returning)
    - a tart or cake of some description to eat when home
    - D loves cheapo French crisps, especially the conical shaped ones (can't remember what they're called)
    - and of course - wine!
  18. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    No, I don't. Never lived around there, but have been to St Malo and Mont St Michel. My son has a friend with a Breton mum and she makes it. There's another famous cake, too: Kouign-amann, which has stupendous amounts of butter in it!
    Another speciality is a sort of giant buckwheat dumpling, cooked in boiling water almost like the old fashioned, round Christmas pudding, called a Farz (pronounced farce). Seen those made on our equivalent of CDWM.
    As it's always best to buy the local specialities (and, let's face it, there are some things you simply cannot find in other regions because they are intrinsically local!) I would advise OP to trawl local markets/shops/supermarkets and see what takes their fancy.
    Forecast today for Brittany: rain and 18° max (so the sun is waiting for the OP to arrive!!)
  19. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    Conical snacks = Bugles
  20. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    DO check it doesn't say " Ne pas recongeler" which means " do not refreeze" ( if bought from a supermarket, many have been frozen, are baked on the premises and advise you not to freeze after purchase. )

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