Bogland Ratatouille

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Ratatouille, chickpea burgers, grilled aubergines and baked potatoes with bocconcini mozzarella di bufala…

I can’t remember the last time we talked about water restrictions in Ireland; well apart from the obsolete and dilapidated water pipes exploding here and there, water shortages due to dry and prolonged weather conditions are not that usual. A more common affair now in Brittany, my homeland getting drier, often mocked once by the Parisian clique for its long and often tempestuous rain spells but yet, they never forgot to pack their cute yellow raincoats. Ok, about that, let me be clear here: unless you are on a fishing boat, we do not wear yellow raincoats. We wear Cotten salopettes with shell jackets on top ( I have the whole uniform, I just don’t get to wear it that often), they are yellow, on a boat only, not to go to the market and pretending to be a local, it’s like a big giveaway, don’t do that! I suppose we get the same here this time of year, Aran jumpers and Donegal tweed caps… Well maybe in the more touristy parts of the Island, here in the midlands, we do not see much of that, and yesterday, as I was admiring in dismay the queue for the car wash, I thought the message didn’t quite sink in… Boglanders, you gotta love them!

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Aronia and Chocolate Farzig

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Aronia berries and Chocolate “Farzig”

“Farz” in Breton means or rather refers to a patisserie from Brittany. There is not one household from Armorica, the land of the sea, that doesn’t get served this famous little gem. It is right up there, between the Breton Cake and the Kouign-amann, our famous multi layered super buttered national dessert. Breton Farz, or like the French call it “Far”, is normally made with tea soaked prunes inside and a dash of rum. It is basically a crêpe dough or batter, slowly baked. Everyone has a recipe back home! I decided to jazz the whole thing up with modern flavours, some 70% cocoa chocolate and a little something called Aronia, wonderful and tasty berries I planted two years ago; let’s say between a blueberry and a blackcurrant… Instead of the Farz being made in a big dish, I decided to make small ones; hence the name “Farzig” meaning little farz. I could also have called it “Farz Bihan”, bihan being “small” in Breton, a bit like the Irish “Beag”… See we are so close to each other, much more than one could think. But hey! Before I go any further… What are Aronia berries I hear you say? Well, let me explain…

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