Stage 5: Carhaix > Cap Fréhel

We start another long flat stage in Carhaix, Finistère – from Finis Terreæ or The End of the Earth.  Quaint.  And long, and flat.

The cows to look out for here are the Pied Rouge and the Pie Noir  – same as last two stages, so we should be able to identify them easily.

Breton (or Brittany) cows have travelled the world, credited variously with giving rise to Quebec Jersey cows in Canada, Guinea cattle of Florida and even St Helier breed sent to New South Wales via the Channel Islands. They produce high butterfat, yellow milk and butter and have a yellow tinge in their skin.  A small cow which gave milk up to 18 months after calving they were popular with small land holders.

Three days in Brittany have left your cow-respondents with an enduring craving for crepes and cider.  Luckily – we knew just the place to put our cravings to rest for a few weeks at least , Roule Galette in Melbourne with its traditional buckwheat crepes.  We *tried* to order cows’ milk cheese fillings – we really did!  But they didn’t have any so we had to have goats cheese (which is more traditional anyway).

 

 

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Stage four: round-up

Even before the race started, we had cows!  Cowrespondent Chris, of the YarraBUG Radio team, tweeted a link to the weather cam on the Brittany coast, near Morbihan.  Essjaymoo checked it out and noticed cows.

This buoyed our hopes of a cow-friendly stage and we were not disappointed.  As early as 92.6km we were able to spot some beasts not dissimilar to the above cows. They were far too indistinct to even attempt a positive ID, so naturally I’m going to tell you that my prediction was correct and we spotted Maine-Anjou.  At 65.6km we got our first sighting of black pied cattle. Could it be a group of the rare Pie Noir?

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Stage 3: Olonne sur Mer > Redon

Tonight we enter Brittany, which is famous for calvados, cider, galettes… but we should be able to spot some cows, too.

In particular, look out for the Pie Rouge des Plaines.  This striking red pied dairy breed was developed fairly recently in Brittany from the Amoricaine, and has outstripped its progenitor in popularity, with more than 25,000 of the Pie Rouge to the Amoricaine’s 300.

Pie Rouge des Plaines http://www.agroparistech.fr/svs/genere/especes/bovins/pierouge.htm

Brittany might not have an AOC cheese to its name, but that is not to say that there is no cheese here. Some of it is even made from cow’s milk, which is also used to make lait ribot, a fermented milk drink, often consumed with the aforementioned galettes.  Butter is important to Breton cuisine (not that low/no salt stuff, either) so perhaps you could keep one eye on the Tour action and one on the creation of this Breton Butter Cake.  After all, we’ll still be in Brittany tomorrow, so you can eat it then.  Come on – how can you resist a recipe that calls for “an outrageous amount of butter”!