Good marketing by Cows (on Parade), and What’s in a Name? Biscuits, Galettes, Palets?
La Trinitaine: Located at Kerluesse, Saint-Phillbert, Morbihan
Last summer we spent some time in Brittany. We used a few different towns as bases to explore the surrounding countryside and attractions. One was Auray, not too far from Vanes, which I’ve written about earlier.
While in Auray, we drove out to visit some of the famous ancient sites and sights in the Morbihan, Brittany. One day, as we drove to a time-based entry to Gavrinis Island we noticed two bright red fiber-glass cows. So, we saw the cows first, and then recognized the name Trinitaine from the red truck parked at the marina in Vannes for the big road race.
We’ve always been interested in the “Animals on Parade” concept ever since we first saw the “Cows on Parade” in Chicago in 1999, so we decided we had to return the next day. So, on our way back from sightseeing on the Lacmariaquer Peninsula, we did. It was perfect time for an afternoon tea or coffee too, so we were happy to find that they also have a lovely café.
What is La Trinitaine?
Part tourist/souvenir shop, part biscuit factory, part bakery, and part corner bar/salon de
the, selling biscuits, cakes and other Breton products.
La Trinitaine has been a family biscuit factory since 1955, making butter biscuits, galettes, shortbread, palets (French salted butter cookies), kouign Amann, crepes, and salt butter caramels.
La Trinitaine is well known in Brittany for its traditional cakes and biscuits so it’s a good place to stock up on souvenirs and gifts.
We wandered around the shop first, a huge space with pleasant staff. It’s great as it offers a wide array of typical products from Brittany. One of the main offerings is biscuits and galettes, sold in beautifully decorated biscuit and candy boxes or tins that are perfect as souvenirs or gifts. The decorations are often a traditional folk design. The choice of biscuits is impressive and prices are moderate.
Besides the biscuits, a big speciality is cider (alcoholic) and tinned sardines.
Look for cider cups, and other cups, or mugs, and plates with the Breton symbol, or a striped nautical theme. It’s handy to find so many regional products all together in one place—quality products at a reasonable price.
The café is also very nice—it serves sandwiches, pizzas, quiches etc. so is perfect for a light lunch. There’s also a large choice of cakes and pastries. We stopped for a cup of tea, but many locals were eating and/or having a drink too.
Biscuiteries are very common in Brittany. What are they exactly? Places that make biscuits. Unlike in the USA, where biscuits are somewhat like scones, these biscuits are more like American cookies. Just what are they?
First, a bit of background:
Thrifty Bretons began salting their butter for two reasons: salt was plentiful and cheap,
and salting the butter made it last longer without spoiling. One tradition surrounding butter in Brittany is the beurre d’accueil, the welcome butter, when visitors are offered bread and butter. This tradition is alive in many Breton restaurants today where you’ll find bread with butter placed on the tables. One of the most delicious products made with Brittany’s fabulous butter is Biscuits Breton, or Galettes, or Brittany Butter Cookies.
Biscuits are deceptively simple and plain but that makes the ingredients shine. Made of flour, sugar, egg and salted butter they are somewhat similar to shortbread or sable cookies, but not as rich. They have a number of different names. Brittany Butter Cookies are sometimes called Breton “sand cookies”, aka Sablés , aka Biscuits de Bretagne, aka French Butter Galettes. These thin Butter Galettes are very similar in taste and texture to American butter cookies. They are round, crispy and (for some) addictive.
Families around France traditionally enjoy a variety of cookies and individual cake-like pastries throughout the day. They are usually offered at breakfast, as after school snacks, and perhaps as light after-meal desserts.
La Trinitaine, has been producing traditional French butter Galletes for three generations now and is known for its strong devotion to tradition and quality.
Besides this main factory/outlet, La Trinitaine also has shops in Saint-Malo, Concarneau and Rennes, to name a few.
Well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area. But, even if you’re anywhere else in France and you get a chance to taste and/or buy galettes, please do. I’m not a big dessert or sweets person, but a galette or French Biscuit is very nice with a cup of tea or coffee.