A quick break from croppings for beer. This is dedicated to Rouchswalwe, the expert.
Telenn du is a beer dark in colour but light in texture, like a feathery Guinness. It is made with organic buckwheat, known here as blé noir, black wheat, because it is much darker and coarser than ordinary wheat flour. It's also called sarrasin, because originally it came from somewhere far away, they knew not where. Sarrasin comes from Saracen; there are still myths that it was brought back to Brittany by the Crusaders, but really I think it came out of Central Europe. It's just that the Saracens were the archetype of the foreign and mysterious, hence the sarsen stones at Stonehenge, the blue stones which form the central circle so much older than the rest, so no one could work out where they came from, therefore they must have been saracen. In fact they came from Wales. The words Guinea, Muscovy and Turkey also came to mean anywhere exotic and fabulous, and were applied vaguely to anything of uncertain non-indigenous origin, like turkeys, and guinea-fowl, and Muscovy ducks. Funny it was always poultry.
I'm quite a fan of buckwheat. It's full of goodness and free of gluten. I like it cooked as a grain like rice, and I also like galettes, buckwheat pancakes, wrapped round sausages, or filled with all kinds of stuff: ham, bacon, eggs, cheese, onions, mushrooms, cooked tomatoes, even trout or salmon and spinach and creme fraiche, though my neighbours have been known to pull faces at this idea. You can make them as carnivorous or vegetarian or even vegan, since they're made without egg, as you choose. We don't eat them often enough as Tom doesn't really like them. One of my students makes them from scratch, most people buy them, and hers are like fairy food. I have never eaten kig ar farz, the buckwheat dumpling cooked in a bag with what is pretty much a standard pot au feu of meat and veg. It is so local to one area of western Finistere that it is unobtainable here, and I am told you really need exactly the right kind of bag to cook it in. I can't find a decent link to it in English, of much in French either. It is one of my ambitions, hopefully a more easily realisable one, to partake of it, either by travelling to the right neck of the woods or by cooking it myself, but I'd need to get a few people round to make it worthwhile.
Buckwheat has an earthy, slightly mushroomy flavour. I imagine I can taste this in the beer, or perhaps I really can.
Telenn du means black harp in Breton. I wonder if this is a reference to Guinness or just a coincidence. The Breton for buckwheat is gwinizh du, apparently, black wheat again. We are also in maes du, the Black Month, which is how November is regarded in Breton, it seems.
But where the grain and the beer is concerned, black is beautiful. It's light silky bitterness would nicely offset the roasted turkey, and even candied sweet potatoes...
Happy Thanksgiving !
Postscript - Please take the time to read Setu's wonderful crêpe lore and related matters in the comments. Delicious!