BRITTANY: Places to Stay | Places to Eat | Places to Visit | Things to Do | Events Calendar | Market Days | Gardens | Breton Legends | Boat Trips Brittany | Sports and Leisure Activities | Breton Recipes | Carte des Vins| River Rance | Beaches | Holiday Activities for Children| Visit the Route de la Baie | Brittany Shopping
Brittany is situated in the North West of France. The region has a welcoming warmth with many houses constructed from local granite and older properties being medieval half timbered buildings.
Beautiful Chateaux are to be found in a green countryside, interspersed with rivers such as the Rance, Arguenon and Villaine. Brittany's coastline extends down from the northern Channel coast to the Atlantic on the West. The tide on the Channel side possesses the same high and low rise and fall as the Channel Islands.
The region possesses a unique culture, where three languages are spoken, French, Breton - western Brittany, and Gallo - eastern Brittany. The Breton language is most similar to Welsh and Cornish with many words totally identical and it is said resulted from the influx of immigrants from the south of Britain in the 5th–6th centuries.
Gallo sounds a bit like Norman French, Jersiais (Jersey French), Dgèrnésiais (Guernsey French), Sercquiais (Sark French) and the extinct language of Alderney - Auregnais, as the roots are the same. A Romansque language, Gallo is one of the Langues d'oïl which are languages originating in the Northern territories of Roman Gaul which were Northern France, a part of Belgium and the Channel Islands. One of the Metro stations in Rennes has signs in French and Gallo.
SOME FACTS ABOUT BRITTANY
22 - Cote d'Armor,
35 - Ile et Villaine
29 - Nord Finistère
56 - Morbihan
more to come soon ..........
The Flag of Brittany is called the "Gwenn ha Du". The 5 black strips represent the Gallo region: Rennes, Nantes, Dol, Saint-Malo and Penthievre and the five white strips represent the Breton region: Leon, Tregor, Cornouaille and Vannes The ermines are the arms of the Duchy of Brittany. The flag was the creation of Marchal Morvan in 1923
Plancouëtin - very pleasant, smooth tasting cheese, semi firm seems to be the best known
The following cheeses are produced in Brittany, although I have not heard of many of them apart from Carré Breton and Terroir! The information comes courtesy of the French Cheese Site which provides comprehensive information on the cheeses of France.
All the following are termed pressed, unheated cheese - bit like a Brie and Camembert. Chandamour which is a soft cheese and Saint Gildas de Bois have some mould to change the colour from white. All are made from Cow's Milk.
Campéanac Carré Breton Chandamour
Crémet Nantais Curé Nantais Madrigal
Meilleraye de Bretagne Merzer Saint Gildas des Bois
A "digestif" in Brittany and Normandy. Calvados is made from distilled cider.
The Canal network of Brittany can carry you far through the area and it is possible to travel down into France through the canals. Pleasant trips are between St Malo and Dinan and Rennes and Redon which latter has a museum devoted to the inland waterways at the Quai Jean-Bart. See also River Rance page
"The Darling Buds of May" - Two episodes based on " A Breath of French Air" have many scenes set in St. Briac, St. Lunaire and Dinard as well as other towns. Both Book and T.V. series are set in the '50's. Brittany comes alive in both. Poignant memories for "Bretagneophiles". Can be watched and read again and again.
Breton Produce -
Coco de Paimpol - white haricot type bean
Reinette apples - sweet rosy red variety
Roscoff Onions - these were the variety sold by "Onion Johnies" who travelled around England selling strings of onions from their bicycles
Vraic potatoes - potatoes fertilized with sea weed
Shell Fish - winkles (bigorneaux) whelks (bulots), oysters - in particular from Cancale although Belon and Paimpol also farm these, "langoustine" (large fresh water prawn - sweet tasting delicate meat),
Crabs- spider (araignée in France) and Common crab - chancre in Jersey and tourteau in France)
Cider and drinks made from cider such as Pommeau which is sweet drink a little like an apple sherry
Chouchen - "hydromel" which is made from honey.
Crepes Dentelles - very light crispy biscuit - a variety of which has been marketed extensively under the brand name "Gavotte".
Far Breton - see Breton Recipe Page - a flan filled with egg custard and prunes -
Galettes - see Breton Recipe Page - buck wheat pancakes (black flour used for these savoury galletes) and crepes, pancakes made from white flour. The former are always filled with savoury filings and the latter are both desserts or have savoury filling. Galette Sausice are sold from vans or produced at fetes frequently and are barbecued sausages with a galette wrapped round them. You can purchase a "double" which is a double galette not sausage. Mustard and tomato sauce are available to be added.
Guémené Andouille (peppery pork sausage)
Kouign-amann - a buttery cake made from bread dough which can be plain or with almonds
"Lait Ribot" is a sour full cream milk and frequently drunk when eating galettes or crepes
Traou Mad - a flat biscuit