Cider (or cidre in French), an alcoholic drink made from fermented apple juice, is the second most consumed drink in France, just behind wine. It is a traditional beverage in several European countries, but French made the art from it. If you are in Brittany, a northwest part of France, make sure to order a glass of cold cider with your buckwheat pancakes. It goes marvelously good together.
In France, cider is mostly produced in Brittany and Normandy regions and it distinguishes itself from the other European ciders by the use of specific apple varieties, called “cider apples”. The valley of Rance is famous for its varieties of apples and its excellent cider. « Chaperonnais », « Jeanne Renard », « Marie Menard » or « Doux Eveque » are just some of cider apples, that give a unique taste, delicate bubbles and beautiful golden color to this drink.
If you order a glass of French cider the waiter will ask you to choose between doux, demi-sec or brut cider. “Doux” is a less alcoholic cider and goes well with sweet pancakes (crepes in French) for a dessert. “Demi-sec” is a semi-dry cider and you can have it for lunch with your buckwheat pancake (galettes in French), meat or fish. “Brut” is a dry cider with at least 5% of alcohol and it is perfect as an aperitif.
When you order a cider in Brittany region, do not be surprised when, instead of a glass, your drink is served in a bolée, a traditional cup made from sandstone. If you are looking for an original gift from Brittany region then you can get one of these cups personalised with the name you wish.
On an old farm, on the road from Brest to Argol, you can visit the unique Cider Museum. There you can learn all you want to know about the art of French cider from 5th century to present day, to see how this drink is made and, of course, to taste some cider. The museum is open from 1st April to 11 November. So, now you know more or less everything about the French cider. If you find yourself in Saint Malo, a historic walled port city, go to the traditional restaurant "Creperie Le Tournesol" and order a buckwheat pancake and a bolée of demi-sec cider and enjoy.
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