Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wine and Food of the Tour de France Stage 6: Brest to Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan

Where are we?
Brest: Michelin tells me that:  Brest's majestic harbour reflects the town's timeless marriage to the sea: the port, which has for centuries been home to the navy, also services ferries and cruise liners. Capital of oceanography, its academic institutions are home to some 60% of the world's specialists in this field, and its Océanopolis complex draws large numbers of visitors. All in all, an impressive comeback for a town that was virtually destroyed during the Second World War.
The Brittany tourist site tells me that:  Forget everything you thought you knew about Brest, and come and explore the heart of this naval port, nestled in one of France’s most beautiful natural harbours. On the menu: the amazing Pont de l'Iroise bridge, a stroll along the lively quays as far as the castle museum, and of course Océanopolis. Explore the city on foot, bike, bus, tramway or even from the sky on the first urban cable car!  

Brest is Brittany’s second largest administrative centre, and has a great deal to offer. Although it was heavily bombed in 1944, this is by no means the town’s most interesting feature: it has rebuilt itself around a vision of the future, with incredible constructions like the Pont de l'Iroise bridge, which crosses the river Elorn. An amazing feat of architecture, this magnificent cable-stayed bridge was opened in 1994. Admire it from Albert Louppe bridge, which is for pedestrians and cyclists only. It’s a great place to take a walk and enjoy the view of the famous Brest harbour, the ‘Rade de Brest’, a sheltered area of the sea big enough for great ships to lie at anchor.
LeTour specialties: Kig ha farz (meat broth with flour pudding), seafood, salted butter caramel, crepes, cider

Mûr de Bretagne Guerlédan: LeTour tells me that the Mûr de Bretagne hill is known as the “Alpe d’Huez of Brittany."  
Perhaps we should visit a lake? Michelin suggests: This lake is 12km long and its winding wooded banks lie in the heart of the picturesque Argoat. It is a magnificent snaking stretch of water formed by the damming up of the Blavet, and is one of the loveliest sites in inland Brittany. Fishing, sailing and speedboat racing are among the activities on offer at the lake, not only on the coast. The advantage of the lake is that you can also go on pleasant excursions into the Forêt de Quénécan or toward the Gorges du Daoulas. The Chapelle Ste-Suzanne, in Mûr-de-Bretagne, is worth visiting to see its 18C painted ceiling.
LeTour specialties: Galettes à la purée de pommes de terre (mashed potato pancakes)

The stage:  Another day, another break. Today we have another likely doomed group: 


Meanwhile in the world of field art:




Back on the road, the gap to the break had ballooned to 6:30 at 126 kilometers.
116 kilometers and it was almost 7 minutes. 
Suddenly with about 100 kilometers to go, splits, courtesy of our fine crosswind friends. Reported behind, Quiintana, Nibali, Landa, Dan Martin, and Fuglsang.

They would mainly regroup, but there was word of more wind ahead, plus not everyone made it back.

They would catch back on, but used a lot of energy to get there. To re-set, with 72 kilometers to go, the main peloton was back together and trailed the break by 2:11. Fifty kilometers and the gap was 1:50. 
At the sprintermediate, Kristoff, Gaviria, and Sagan took maximum points from the field. Ahead, as the peloton loomed, the break had started to attack each other.
Crash! Lampaert. Also issues for Fuglsang. Time for an Astana team time trial to get him back to the bunch.
As they get close to the Mur for the first time, riders were rapidly dropping off the back. Ahead, Gaudin had been dropped from the breakaway bunch. Soon enough, that group would be swallowed by the bunch. 
Interesting to see Geraint Thomas getting a few seconds at the bonification point. He had said this morning that he was dreaming of yellow tonight.
Ten kilometers to go and Jack Bauer had a very slight gap in front of the peloton. Seemed like a doomed effort, but why not try?
Yikes. Bad spot for a Dumoulin mechanical.


Lots of moto-pacing for Dumoulin. Interesting to see if there will be a fine later. He was riding hard, but looked likely to lose time.
Four kilometers to go and a mechanical for Bardet.
Here came the final climb and time for the big boys to come out to play.
Dan Martin attack! Nice timing from him. Could he hold on?
Yes! Great ride from him today. Again, the time gaps will count on the day.
Poor Dumoulin lost 52 seconds. 





Alcohol: Cidre Nerios 
The producer tells me that:
Nerios is a Celtic god of the springs.
Terroirs - Granitic and loamy soil.
This bittersweet apple orchard faces south on a moderately deep granite soil.
Arboriculture - The high tree orchards are less dense with grass strips, which promotes diversity. There are no added pesticides or insecticides in order to preserve the environment.
We are committed to keeping in compliance with organic production.
Cidrification - The apples were manually harvested from September to December. The fruits were stored in bags under shelter for better ripeness.
The fermentation takes place in tanks and then blended with natural yeasts in oak barrels. The cider is bottled in May, with natural bubble formation and no added sulfur non-carbonated and non-pasteurized.
A second fermentation occurs in the bottle. Wild yeasts are necessary to make the natural foam, it can make some turbidity.
Dry Cider - Nérios is powerful, tannic and surprises with its alcohol content of more than 7°. A copper color, fine bubbles, and slight caramel, licorice, vanilla on the palate with a hint of bitterness on the finish.
Tasting suggestions - Perfectly accompanies a rabbit braised in cider, pineapple pork, walnut salad , roasted chestnuts, cheese.

Food:  Galettes à la purée de pommes de terre
 From and Google translate
Ingredients for 4 persons
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 g flour
  • 10 cl of milk
  • 10 cl of fresh cream
  • 100 g grated emmental cheese
  • 50 g of butter
  • 2 pinches of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Patties of mashed potatoes
- Wash the potatoes, peel them and cut them into large pieces, then cook them in boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain and pass to the potato masher so as to obtain a creamy mash.
- In a salad bowl, beat the eggs into an omelette. Add mashed potatoes, flour, milk, liquid cream and emmental cheese. Mix vigorously so as to obtain a homogeneous mash. Perfume with nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large pan, melt the butter and cook the patties. Turn them over when they are just starting to brown on the first side, then brown on the other side.
- Enjoy with a salad.

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