Galettes. It’s the drifting scent, nutty and wholesome, that catches my attention.
The long line of chatting customers, waiting for their delectable galette, piques my curiosity.
The jovial chef leans over a large, sizzling griddle, using a unique, T-shaped wooden tool to spread the batter in a decisive, circular motion.
Serve it up.
Please let me be able to partake.
I approach the food truck and ask the critical question.
“Are the galettes made purely with buckwheat flour?” (la farine de sarrasin)
Buckwheat flour. Its name is deceptive. Why does it have the word wheat in it? A gift from the gods for gluten-free diets as it is made from a fruit seed closely related to rhubarb.
I ask the question because in Paris I found that most galettes are made from a mix of flours.
The woman looks at me and with a reproachful click of her tongue, tells me that those Parisian galettes of which I speak are NOT the real deal. True galettes are simply buckwheat flour, water and salt.
I smile and confess to the chef that I have never eaten one. He rubs his hands in glee and with a twinkle in his eye, starts to create. Savoury or sweet? Sweet or savoury? It’s a tough decision. I decide on a plain galette with butter. He is more than generous with the butter.
It’s pure bliss.
I am hooked.
And so begins my love affair with galettes.
Hailing from the region of Brittany in France, these savoury crepes are made from buckwheat flour, which gives them a nutty and slightly earthy flavour. Traditionally, galettes are filled with a variety of savoury ingredients, such as ham, cheese, mushrooms, and spinach, and folded into a square shape. They’re often served with a side of cider, which is another famous product of Brittany.
I return every Wednesday to the galette man in Pontorson. I hop on my bicycle, ride against the brisk Breton wind and head straight to my favourite stall.
I am welcomed back like an old-timer although I am simply a stray traveller passing through.
In a different town, I find another truck for Friday cravings.
In Brittany, this love is easy to satisfy.
But where else in the world can I find a divine, gluten-free galette made ONLY with la farine sarrasin?
Lo and behold, I discover galettes at the Kelowna, B.C. farmer’s market.
And then again at Suzette’s Bistro in Calgary, Alberta. Perhaps they were there all along and I just hadn’t noticed.
Clearly, this has become an obsession.
I decide to track down a purely “sarrasin” galette. I hit the jackpot with Alain at the Marché des Enfants Rouges.
Have you had a delectable galette?
Where or where did you devour it?
Are there any other galette-crazed readers out there?