Monday, September 24, 2007

Breizh Parade

If you have visited France already, you may have heard of a region called La Bretagne, located in the west of the country (where the Mont Saint-Michel is). Despite its rain rate (!), it's a beautiful region which keeps a pretty strong identity (some people there still speak the local language). To promote their region, they just organized in Paris an event called the Breizh Touch (Breizh means Bretagne) which was highlighted by a sort of "Breizh Pride" that took place Sunday at noon on the Champs Elysées. Of course, I was there... It was really great. More photos here.


  1. Ah the French Brittany...crêpes and bigouden... ;)

  2. A happy coincidence then -- my husband and I had breakfast this morning at a favourite spot in Vancouver, BC -- La Crêpe Bretagne. Lovely thin buckwheat crêpes -- we always get the ones filled with apples and melted cheese and served with sausages. Yumm! Run by a lovely young couple from Bretagne.

  3. I lived in Rennes for three years, so I consider myself a Bretonne at heart. And although we would love to take credit for the Mont St Michel, it is actually in Normandy.

    Here is the dicton: "La Couesnon dans sa folie, a mis la Mont en Normandie."

    Please forgive my lack of accents, as I'm typing from an English computer. :)

  4. PS: I also miss the crepes. The only ones you find here in the US are sweet. And even those are few and far between in Mississippi!

  5. Very, very cool! Were they giving out chouchen? :)

  6. Do they make that lovely lace in the region?

  7. This could easily be a photograph of how many centuries into the past? It looks like from the link that even Asterix could have (hypothetically) communicated with these Celtic people (depending on how well a Gaul could communicate with a P-Celtic speaker).

  8. I don't know the region at all, but I had an amie Bretonne at one time. Her name was Françoise, shortened to Soizique (that's how they make diminutives up there) and she smoked a small brass pipe. Very unusual....

  9. Tout d'abord Felicitations les Bleus!!!

    Today's post is an incredible education to a region and a culture we don't get exposed to too often. I have to admit I know more about the French Basque region, both the french and spanish regions, than La Bretagne, because of my visits in the south of France. But if memory serves, I heard about the Breton language and an effort by some Welsh teachers to help to preserve it, when I was in Wales a few years ago. At any rate, un evenement unique et trop festive, Eric!

  10. Quite a change from Sunday's sea monster! The Breizh Touch seems a little more reverent for the sabbath day, n'est-ce pas? Unless you're a denizen of the deep, I suppose. Too deep for Monday morning after celebrating a friend's birthday. I need another shot of caffeine. (Oh, say, Eric and Michael, Tomate, gg, and whoever we met at the PDP Seine picnics: Craig's wife had a birthday. We're still adding them up, which beats the alternative!)

  11. They look very much like American Amish people.

  12. Well, may have my share of chouchen...non, merci!!

    Merci Eric!! My grandmother was from Quimper so I always love to see anything about the region, and I still make a "mean" Clafoutis and "Quatre Quarts" in her honor! Although I prefer a Loire wine or cidre-pression instead of chouchen..LOL!

    Oh Great Grandmother[also from Quimper..bien sur]smoked a pipe as well...and lived to be 100 years old! LOL!! She was working on snagging her third husband at the age of 93! Too funny! Hardy stock those Bretonnes!

    We have a good Breton style resto/creperie in San Francisco called "ti-Couz", and they do have the real galettes made with the buckwheat flour. The owner is a Bretonne named Sylvie and tres sympa!! Merci encore!

  13. Yes Halcyon, you're right, the Mont Saint Michel is technically in Normandy, but I've heard that some Bretons claimed it was also in Brittany...

    I don't know about Chouchen Tomate... I doubt they did on the Champs Elysées actually!

    Yes they do make this lace in this region - well they used to at least. I don't know if they still do.

    I agree Tall Gary. They actually look like Amish on this photo don't they?

    Soizic, yeah that is very very Breton. Did you like the small brass pipe idea?!

    Merci Loraine.

    Well then happy birthday to Craig's wife - who probably has a name BTW!! After all, like you say adding them up means were still here to count. And that is good news after all...

    Starman. Yeah they do, don't they. But it's just a costume, they don't live like that nowadays. they have cars, televisions, central heating and... even the Internet in Brittany now!

    Tonton. There are lots of Bretons everywhere on the planet 1) because they live by the sea so there is a strong traveling tradition 2) it used to be a poor region and people had to emigrate.

    So I understand you are a Breton yourself!! And you know all the good recipes, don't you!

  14. Eric,
    "it's just a costume, they don't live like that nowadays" BUT you can see old women in their cars, wearing bigouden (the most famous hat in Brittany, some reach 40 cm of height!), the head slanting. I swear, I saw it!

    And for people interested in bigouden ;-)

    ( this picture is from a very famous brand of Brittany)

  15. Is Craig the friend you came to Paris with, Jeff? In any event, happy b'day Craigs' wife! :)

    Euh, Tonton, don't get me started on TiCouz of San Francisco... Yes, they have the real thing. But if they could do away with the pretentious snobs clientele, that would be even better! ;)Of course, I wouldn't mind them so much if they didn't pack all of us so tightly in the dining room. Just thinking about it now gives me claustrophobia.