Thursday, 5 April 2012

Brendan de Bretagne and a Taste of the Northwest in Central Ohio

Well, hello there! As you could probably tell from the infrequency of my blogging, it's that time of the year again. You know, the rush that quickly follows the conclusion of spring break and in many respects the true start of the programming season. It's almost as if we (i.e., our campus) have been planning for every event to take place on every day leading to Commencement and the summer holiday. As was the similar case last spring term, my foodie experiences have been many (though controlled, knowing full well I'd run behind on the posting) and meaningful. This time around though, underlying my blogging breaks has been the preparation for my presentation at the 40th anniversary of NAES. In fact, as I write this particular post on an event that took place a little over a week ago, I'm sitting at the Columbus International Airport awaiting a very early flight. And all this context aside, I present to you...well, a taste of Brendan (the French TA)'s presentation about the culture of la Bretagne vis-à-vis... food!

For those who may not know, I've written about Bretagne in a previous post, specifically within the context of our summer Putney sojourn in Le Conquet. To kick off this soirée bretonne, Brendan (along with sous chefs Ellen and Christina) led us in making des crêpes salées. Otherwise known as galettes, these savoury crêpes are made with buckwheat, also known as black wheat (blé noir).

With the galette batter already made and pre-cooked by Ellen and Christina by the time the rest of us got to Preston House, an array of fillings awaited us. In the above left photo is the crêpe I finished with shredded parmesan, ham and tomatoes. In the above right photo is the one I made for Christine (one of our French professors) finished with a fried egg, mushrooms, parmesan and ground black pepper. [Check out this video to learn more about this Breton staple.]

As for dessert, Brendan offered us two Breton items, including Breton shortbread (not pictured in this post nor in my album, but a version of which can be found here). The other, known as a Gavotte (which is also the same name of a fast French dance), is essentially a crisped crêpe in the form of a wafer. As I ate it, it started to crumble, unquestionably reminding me of a childhood Filipino favourite, barquillos. And yes, Brendan did also talk about Bretagne. However, as my notes from the event are somewhere in my apartment and obviously nowhere in sight, I'll have to leave you to delve into your own research of La Bretagne: 12, and 3. And with that, signing off from my layover in Charlotte! For the rest of the album, click here.

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