Breton Crêpes and Galettes are definitely the best-known specialities from the West region of France. These famous French pancakes commonly complemented with a bowl of local Cider are obviously part of Bretagne folklore! To share with friends or to relish in a genuine crêperie, filled with chocolate and fruits or with ham and mushrooms as a dish, the Breton Crepes and Galettes represent an important social aspect of the French gastronomy.
Crêpes or Galettes?
This gourmet French speciality boasts many different recipes and ways to enjoy it. Depending if you are a sweet or savoury person, you may prefer the Crêpes de Froment (wheatflour pancake) or the Galettes de Sarrasin (buckwheat pancakes).
In many restaurants throughout Brittany these buckwheat and wheat delights are unduly called "Crêpes". Actually Galettes originate from Haute-Bretagne (Upper Brittany), or Gallo country, and Crêpes from Basse-Bretagne (Lower Brittany). The first are thick, moist and substantial while the sweet version of the French speciality is thin, sometimes crispy.
The traditional crêpe recipe from Bretagne simply includes flour, eggs, milk and melted butter since in past times these pancakes used to be the main meal in the Brittany countryside. But nowadays you may find subtle variations with beer (instead of milk to make lighter pancakes), cinnamon, rum or vanilla. To make moist savoury pancakes, French crêpe makers add buckwheat flour.
Of course, the best-known drink to complement the French pancakes is the Breton cider, sweet sparkling wine made of apple juice. Nevertheless, Brittany Chouchen and Pommeau - also made from apple liqueur - are other local aperitifs served with the traditional Crêpes.
The savoury Breton Galettes are in fact made with the same technique - on the typical griddle - and expertise, but only Crêpes can be "Suzette" (with liqueur and lemon and orange zests) or "flambeed". This sweet dessert is also widely eaten for the French Chandeleur - Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple - in February.
Top Tip! The recipe is so easy to make that you can now find Crêpe makers around every corner of Paris! The matter is then to find authentic crêperies that respect the Breton know-how and to satisfy Crêpe and/ or Galette lovers.