An excerpt from my new illustrated cookbook, coming out in France this summer. To see the full recipe click the title of the post!

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Christmas in Brittany

My father comes from a small town in Bretagne, Brittany, in the west of France. The town, Janzé, is a twenty-minute drive from Rennes. Growing up I would spend my holidays at my grandparent’s place. My grandfather started his own cider company when he was in his twenties. When I was younger and the cider company was still running, my older brother and I would climb over mountains of apples in the outdoor garage. I first tried my grandfather’s eau de vie, his very strong (50-70% alcohol content) distilled alcohols, when I was eight.

 

My great-grandmother had a small stand in Rennes where she sold galettes. Galettes are savory, buckwheat crêpes. They are the same shape as a crêpe but a darker brown color. Back in the day, the galettes were sold by the dozen like bread to be taken home, or served hot with an egg cracked on top, for lunch. She taught my father how to make her galettes, and later my father passed the knowledge down to me. As a twenty-year old, my father worked in a crêperie during the summers. When my grandfather sold his cider company he started to make jams and distill alcohol. He already had a fertile and abundant vegetable and fruit garden in the countryside. You will often see him wandering the fields in search of rare fruits, climbing his cherry and plum trees, or picking raspberries behind the house, to then concoct his delicious jams in the basement.

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