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Brittany is a region located in north west France. In this region, Crêperies (crêpes restaurant) are more popular than cafés. Bretons come and gather to eat, talk, and chill-out with friends and family while enjoying the local "cidre" (cider).
"Galette" is a type of pancake made of buckwheat flour, which is often served with some garnishes such as mushrooms, eggs, and ham, and topped with salted butter that brings additional flavour.
Buckwheat is a globally grown grain originating from the region of Yunnan, China and now cultivated in Asia, in Europe and in America, although it is often believed to be a traditional Japanese plant. The Crusaders brought it to France and it was then expanded in Brittany by a tax facility by Queen Anne V. As it only takes 3 months to harvest, it has been a saviour for the people of Brittany in times of starvation.
Cookware used for galette in a typical Breton home: iron plate, "râteau" to spread the batter, wooden spatula to fold the cooked dough.
For a long time, "Kig-ha-farz"- buckwheat dough wrapped in a piece of tissue cooked with vegetables and a meat broth - has been a typical dish in this region. Galette happened to be invented by accident one day when someone dropped a piece of dough on a heated stone, and then discovered the cooked dough was very tasty and flavourful.
Galette has been a main meal for centuries, though sweet crêpes for dessert were invented long after. Now we have both, and generally we define “galette” as “savoury, buckwheat dough” and “crêpe” as “sweet, wheat flour dough”.
In the past, galette was prepared at home with traditional utensils such as an iron plate above a fireplace, râteau to spread the batter, and a wooden spatula to fold the galette. Today, it is more and more popular to purchase them in bakery or grocery store.
Crêpe au caramel beurre salé (salted butter caramel) is a type of dessert pancake, which Le Bretagne introduced in Japan. A perfect combination of two famous local specialities - sea salt from Guérande and salted butter from dairy farming – creates desserts with salt, such as salted butter caramel and salted butter biscuits.
With salt from the sea and butter from the land, salty sweets are truly a gift from the tradition of harmonious life with the nature of Brittany.
Galette is considered as a traditional French dish that is enjoyed both, as a casual snack and as a main dish in a full-course dinner with the entrée and dessert.
Of course there are drinks to accompany your meal like the locals, cider cocktail to start with, then cidre (apple cider, fermented sparkling beverage), and distilled apple liquor or the same with hot water to finish. “French cuisine” does not always mean formal dining, so we suggest you enjoy the Bretagne region gastronomy our way.
For centuries, buckwheat has been known in Japan as a natural remedy for its high nutritional value. It contains 10% protein and much more lysine (essential amino acid) than any other cereals, for example.
Rutin is one of the polyphenols that can only be found in buckwheat among all cereals, which is effective to keep elasticity and thickness of the capillary blood vessel in human body. European countries and the United States authorised medicines containing rutin for blood vessel strengthening. It also works for antioxidant and hypotensive qualities.
When rutin is taken with Vitamin C, the absorption action will be accelerated. This means that a meal with the galette and a lot of cidre is an ideal combination for your health, which is scientifically proven.
Galette preparation is supposed to be the best way of cooking buckwheat to retain all nutrients without losing any water-soluble nutrition that might otherwise be lost during cooking, such as Rutin, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin B2.
According to research by ONIC（former Office of Inter-professional for cereals, current FranceAgriMer) in Renne, Buckwheat field had expanded to a total of 600,000ha in France at the end of 19th century, then considerably reduced to 22000 ha only producing 58000 tons per year in the 21st century. This decrease shows a big change of the French’s eating habits, but the people of Brittany continue to produce buckwheat to preserve their traditional gastronomic culture. Buckwheat from the Brittany region now represents 80% of the overall production in the country.
Nowadays we should reconsider it for its nutrition value and ease of production, for example the crop can be rotated, plants will grow with minimal fertilizer in a pesticide-free environment.