town brittany

 

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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

Brittany Departments                                            

22 - Cote d'Armor,

35 - Ile et Villaine

29 - Nord Finistère

56 - Morbihan

 

Featured Breton towns:  (This means we have created special feature pages for these)

Fourgères

Rochefort-en-Terre

also Visit the Route de la Baie

more to come soon ..........

 

Gwenn ha DuThe 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

 

Facts 

  • Many town names in Brittany start with Ple or Plu - this refers to a Christian settlement or Church location.

  • The word "Ty" This often appears and is Breton for House. i.e. Ty Corentin, (Corentin's House) and Ty Punch (Punch of the House). 

  • The Breton language is very like Welsh.  Welsh and Breton speakers can actually converse with each other.

Cheeses - 

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

Terroir                                Timadeuc

 

Calvados 

A "digestif" in Brittany and Normandy.  Calvados is made from distilled cider. 

Canals

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

Films and T.V.

"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 -

"Camus" Artichokes

Cauliflower

Coco de Paimpol - white haricot type bean

Plougastel strawberries

Shalots

Redon chestnuts

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),

Lobsters

Crabs-  spider (araignée in France) and Common crab - chancre in Jersey and tourteau in France)

Breton Specialities

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

Seawater beer

Traou Mad - a flat biscuit

 

 

 

 

Antiquités

Brocante

Déco

Beltane

Taden (Dinan)

0033296879185

 

 

  Un si joli passé

antiques, collectables

35, rue du Colonel Pleven

PLOUBALAY

0626100585  debroc.flo@free.fr

    & Porte 22  

Antiques & Furniture Restoration

at Route de Dinan - PLOUBALAY

0683247211  broc.laurent@free.fr