Paimpol Restaurants

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    Appreciating Bretagne's apple-based beverages!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jul 31, 2012

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    Favorite Dish: When we were trying to decide where to visit on our recent trip, I have to confess that one of the factors that finally swung our decision towards Bretagne was the quality of the produce!

    Stunning seafood - check! Amazing dairy produce - check! And marvellous beverages made from local apples - check, check and check again!

    If you're going to picnic in Bretagne, then you really should treat yourself to a bottle of the local cidre (cider) to wash things down in a culturally appropriate manner. This sparkling cider is cheap, delicious and sold in every supermarket, and will set you back no more than a couple of euros for a 750mL bottle. I personally favour the gentler 'cidre doux' - as opposed to the rougher 'cidre brut' - and as most of the commercial brands only have an alcohol content of about 2%, you can enjoy a glass or two with your lunch without running the risk of falling asleep in the afternoon. These sparkling ciders are best served chilled - or at least cool.

    The more upmarket 'cidre artisinal' tends to be more potent with a higher alcohol content, so perhaps save that one until later in the day when you're winding down.

    And my kids couldn't get enough of the wonderful local (non-alcoholic) apple juice.

    Bear in mind that most ciders come in bottles that have a champagne-type cork, so you won't have the option to close the bottle. If you don't think that you can finish it in one sitting, then make sure to look for a screw top bottle, although I've never found the need to consider this!

    And, whilst we're on an apple theme, I am reliably informed that a glass of Calvados (apple brandy) works wonders as a digestif after your evening meal!

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    Make a berry straw in the abbey's walled garden!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jul 31, 2012

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    (work in progress)

    Favorite Dish: When my mother was little, they used to gather wild strawberries in the hedgerows around their village in Ireland. The preferred way of transporting their haul was to thread the berries onto a long, stiff piece of grass from which they could eat the berries later on as a sort of fruit 'kebab'.

    Our daughter was delighted to learn this trick from her Banma and put her new skill to use in the walled 'kitchen' garden at Abbaye de Beauport. On her straw, she has assembled strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants, which were in varying stages of ripeness when we visited in late June.

    The walled garden is a fascinating place, particularly for urban kids who aren't used to seeing how their fruit and veg is grown. The Abbaye would have aimed to be as self sufficient as possible in terms of their own food, and an amazing range of produce is under cultivation, including some more unusual crops such as artichokes.

    And if you're a trifle peckish, well, nobody's going to stop you sneaking a few berries just to tame those hunger pangs ... ;)

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Paimpol Restaurants

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