Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wine and Food of the Tour de France Stage 9: Cidre Rhuys & Gateau Breton

Stage 9 28 km

Vannes: was founded by the Romans after their victory over the Veneti in 56BC.  Julius Caesar’s victorious armies conquered all of Armorique.
Darioritum (the town’s first name) developed on a hill. In the 3rd century, a fortified site was built, to protect the inhabitants from threats by the Barbarians.
Specialties: Seafood, gotchial (brioche), cola, beer and cider

Plumelec: Plumelec is located in the Morbihan  region in the north-west of France at 22 km from Vanes. To visit, from the town website: The museum and memorial SAS paratroopers.  During World War Plumelec was the scene of tragic events. On the night of 4 to 5 June 1944, SAS paratroopers under the command of Lieutenant Marienne, jumped over Plumelec few hours before the Allied landing near the mill of the Gree. The BOUETARD corporal was killed by the enemy. It is the first death of Operation Overlord. A cross was erected Halliguen where he was killed. The mill of the Gree, located at 166 meters above sea level, offers breathtaking views of the valley Claie.  Once near the mill, you can visit the memorial SAS paratroopers killed in Brittany. After visiting the site of the Gree, you can go to the cemetery in Plumelec on the grave of Colonel Bourgoin.
Specialities: andouille de Guémené, cider, potato pancakes

Stage: Christian Prudhomme's comment

In just two days, the Tour will be visiting the two major sites of cycling in Brittany. The final showdown will however be different with the climb up the Côte de Cadoudal coming at the end of a 28-kilometre team time-trial. This test of strength and moment of truth will be awaited with anxiety by the main actors of the GC, especially because the final uphill part could influence on the choice of strategy.

The team trial. Arriving some what late to the race and with an uphill finish that could make things interesting. Plus, certain teams, including the first to start off Orica-Greenedge, are no longer at full strength. And off went Orica, with only six riders. A reminder that the time of the fifth rider to finish is the team time, so not being able to drop slower riders may hurt their time. Read a lot more here, at the Podium Cafe stage preview. Speaking of injuries:

Orica comes in with a time of 37:'13".  Hopefully they will make the cut, which today should be 30% of the stage winner's time. The first "big" team of the day to start was Astana and they did not look smooth. IAM in at 32'53", the best time at that point. 

Astana would finish with 32'50". Movistar was looking very fast, but had some issues midway through, possibly due to fans encroaching on the road. They did recover quickly though and finish with 32'19". BMC and SKY were both very fast at intermediate checks. A reminder that if BMC could come in 13 seconds ahead of Froome, he would be in the yellow jersey. Tinkoff-Saxo in with the second best time, 24 seconds slower than Movistar. BMC in with a new best time of 32'15". 32'16" for Sky and Froome would keep yellow. More importantly, more gaps to some of his GC rivals.



Cidre Rhuys
From FranklyWines $6.99

From an importer:
Cidre Nicole - Brittany, France
Since 1928, three generations of the Nicol family have been working to perfect the exceptional natural terroir of Brittany, utilizing their respect for tradition and unparalleled knowledge of the cider-making process.  Made from 100% apples, their ciders are unpasteurized and contain no preservatives. The Rhuys estate consists of 13 hectares of apple orchards in South Morbihan, exclusively hand-harvested.

Rhuys Brut
Pours slightly hazy golden with a fizzy white head. The sweet aroma of notes of caramel and toasted apple finished with just a touch of sulphur.  Light and dry mouthfeel.  

I say: Very pale amber or really, this looks like apple juice. A little bit funky at first. 


Food: Gateau Breton
Another stage without cheese!
Instead, as one does, we bought French butter and made a Gateau Breton.

What is Gateau Breton? Essentially, a very buttery and very simple cake, relying heavily on the quality of Brittany butter. We used this recipe

The dough is very cookie-like, which made me wonder if the finished product would be more shortbread or cake. But cake it was indeed, if slightly orange from the local, very orange egg yolk we used to cover it just before putting it in the oven. 

The verdict? We'll make this again. K liked it best fresh and warm from the oven, whereas I enjoyed it as a substitute for my usual Tour viewing 5 am toast.

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