Breton specialities: the sweeter the better

While Brittany is famous for its rocky coast and Celtic traditions, it is also well known for its gastronomy—it was here that salted butter was born. Let's take a quick look at its sweet culinary specialties!

Far Breton

Far Breton is a must-have cake in Brittany—you can easily find it in any bakery in the region. Renowned for its delicious texture, it is very simple to make: all you need are eggs, butter, flour, milk and sugar. Plain in its original recipe, there are now several variants, including prune, grape, dried fruit and apples. Good to know: the Far Breton is called "farzforn" in Breton, which means "baked Breton cake."

Kouign-amann

High in calories, but even bigger on flavour! Kouign-amann is an emblematic dessert of Breton gastronomy, found in any self-respecting Breton bakery! This specialty from Fouarnenez is made from buttered and sweet bread dough, and then rolled up like a puff pastry. It is a buttery cake with a melty center, caramelized and crispy on the outside due to the fusion of butter and sugar during cooking. Kouign-amann is usually best eaten warm to preserve its flavour. Incidentally, this cake was conceived following a mistake in a bakery—a confusion that the Bretons have never regretted.

Crêpes

If there is one culinary specialty that immediately comes to mind when you think of Brittany, it's crêpes. Sweet or savory, they taste great either way. The difference is that savory crêpes are made with buckwheat and known as galettes (see below), while their sweet version is made with classic wheat. Enjoy them with salted butter caramel, sugar, chocolate, jam or just lemon. It's simply a matter of taste (and how much room you have left!).

Salted butter caramel

You can’t leave Brittany without trying this—it was and still is sold in many confectioneries in the region. Traditionally just a simple soft caramel, salted butter caramel reached its peak of fame at the end of the 1970s, when a certain Henri Le Roux invented a salted butter caramel candy with hazelnuts. You can find it today as a spread, an indulgent sauce or as ice cream. Bon appétit!

Shortbread biscuits

Crisp and melt-in-your-mouth—shortbread cookies, a specialty from Brittany, can be enjoyed at any time of day. Fans of these cookies love to dip them in their coffee, milk or hot chocolate at breakfast. But they can also be enjoyed as an afternoon snack. In its dough are eggs, flour, yeast but also butter and sugar. Like most Breton goodies, they make your mouth water!

Gavottes

These almost didn’t see the light of day, and it would have been a shame! Gavottes, also called lace crêpes, were created by accident. In 1893, Marie-Catherine Comic forgot about a crêpe on the stove. Rather than throwing it away, she decided to fold it and roll it up. This slightly overcooked crêpe turned out to be a true delight, and crispy to perfection! Even today, they are made in the purest tradition with wheat flour, sugar and butter, eaten with coffee or used to make desserts.

Gateau Breton

Soft on the inside and golden on the outside, the Breton cake is similar to the shortbread biscuit. The recipe for this itinerant cake includes butter, flour, powdered sugar and eggs – and it has the particularity of staying fresh for several weeks or longer when frozen. It's a fitting legacy, considering, Breton cakes were made for sailors leaving on expeditions for weeks at a time.

Getting to Brittany