Rennes, capital of Brittany, is a touchstone for all ages. It was once a fortified city, designated as a bishopric in the fifth century. A hub in the road network and the official capital of the Duchy of Brittany, Rennes would later become a provincial capital whose prestige would be further enhanced when it was designated as the official seat of the Parliament of Brittany in 1562. The city centre was devastated by the Great Fire of 1720 and rebuilt by Gabriel, the King's Head Architect. Rennes would later be a backdrop for some of the first events in the French Revolution. in the nineteenth century, the lower part of Rennes would open up with the canalization of the Vilaine River. Rennes experienced one of the highest growth rates in France with over 200,000 people spread over 13 square miles. If a city is to be judged only on the basis of its aesthetic value, Rennes offers visitors a wealth of architectural variety so broad and ravish as to bear elegant witness to a heritage centuries old. The Rennes City Hall is a public building built for the sake of immortality. A royal square dating from the eighteenth century in which "the first blood of the revolution" was spilled. Rue de la Psalette, a medieval street that used to resound with the singing of altar boys. The abbey-church palace (seventeenth century) of the men's Benedictine Abbey Saint Melaine and the abbey's cloyster. The Palais du Parlement (Parliament). The parliament, sovereign court of justice, in charge of recording the edicts and royal letters, benefitted from the right to remonstrate the king. It was to be granted a building which shows in the stone and in its décor the importance of its function. The décor of the Palais, the gold, wood coffered ceiling of the master chamber for example, represents a major example of seventeenth century French art. The Brittany table is distinguished by the large number of fresh products from the sea and land. Fresh seafood, crustaceans and fish, arrive in the ports everyday. The Tartare of fish is one of the worthwhile specialities of Rennes.
TARTARE DE POISSONS AU YAOURT
ET SA JULIENNE DE LÉGUMES BRETONS
Tartare of fish in yogurt with a julienne of Breton vegetables
Ingredients for 4 runners: 400 grams of fish meat (salmon, tuna, sea bass, bream); 4 teaspoons of capers; 4 teaspoons of gherkin; 4 teaspoons of flat parsley; 4 chopped shallots; lemon juice; 4 spoonful of low fat mayonnaise; 4 teaspoons of caviar. For the low fat mayonnaise: 2 hard boiled eggs; 150 grams of low fat fresh cheese (fromage frais); 1 half teaspoon of strong mustard; 1 teaspoon of lemon juice; seasoning.
For the julienne: 4 halves of raw beetroot; 4 halves of leek; 4 carrots; 4 halves of fennel
Prepare the low fat mayonnaise with the ingredients indicated.
Mix the capers, gherkins, parsley and shallot with the fish meat. Add to this the lemon juice, which will cook the fish. Then add a soupspoon full of low fat mayonnaise and the caviar.
This shuld be laid out in the centre of a plate and accompanied by the julienne of small Breton vegetables.
To prepare the vegetable julienne, cut the vegetable crosswise into even pieces. Make sure the vegetable sits flat.
Cut the vegetable pieces lengthwise into very thin slices, guiding the knife with bent fingers.
Stack the slices and cut lengthwise again into very fine strips, keeping the tip of the knife on the board.
Bon appétit! Enjoy the meal!
Suggested wine - To accompany the tartare, the best wine is, without question, a "Sèvre et Maine" Muscadet. A high-class Muscadet which has volume and strength, while at the same time preserving its sharpness and "minerality", characterising the vineyard (area: South of Nantes) and its climate. It provides something of an "opposites attract" effect, with the liveliness and acidity of the wine combining with the smoothness and volume of the raw fish, in addition to providing a minerality that works well with the herbs that make up the tartare.