Match of the week
Savoury pancakes and sparkling cider
The English - and very delicious - way with pancakes is to serve them with granulated sugar and lemon (a dessert that pairs well with gently sparkling, sweet Asti or Moscato d’Asti). But an even better match is the French - or more specifically Breton - tradition of serving savoury pancakes with sparkling cider, a vastly underrated drink.
In Brittany savoury pancakes or crèpes tend to be made with a proportion of buckwheat flour which gives them a nutty, savoury, faintly bitter flavour that picks up on the bitter apple notes in genuine farmhouse cider. Fillings such as cheese, ham and tricky-to-match spinach all work well.
When I was in France recently I was amazed at the range of artisanal ciders in the supermarkets, and at the ridiculously cheap prices they were charging - in some cases as little as 2 or 3 euros (£1.35-£2 or $2.60-$4) for a 75 cl bottle.
In the UK I’d recommend Duché de Longueville from Normandy (available from Sainsbury’s) or a home grown sparkling cider from Gospel Green, near Haselmere in Surrey (+44(0)1428 654120) which sells in local off-licences and farm shops and also from Partridges in London. It is also quite widely stocked in Brighton, they say.
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