French figures: The drink that sparked a regional crockery battle

French figures: The drink that sparked a regional crockery battle
Photo: AFP
France is world famous for its wine, but cider also plays an important part in the culture - with a lot of rules about when it should be drunk (which not everyone agrees one).

Cidre (cider) is not the most popular alcoholic beverage in France. Wine, beer and stronger liquors all outcompete that sweet fruity fizz.

Yet most French people agree that cider is the only right thing to drink with crêpes, the famous French pancakes.

But they don't agree on how to drink it.

Visit a crêperie in Brittany and they will serve cider from round bowls, une bolée, instead of glasses.


It's a longstanding tradition that few Bretons seem to question and just tacitly accept as the right way to go when serving cider. (Plus it's popular among tourists).

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See also on The Local:

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sips cider from a traditional bolée by Mont Saint Michel. Photo: AFP.

But in neighbouring Normandy cider is often served in a stemmed glass.

The sector is trying to push for more restaurants to opt for glasses instead of the bowl because, they say, it enhances the taste of the cider, which they hope could help their marketing and – ultimately – boost sales.

For now, producers struggle to get sales to go up outside big seasonal events such as la Chandeleur, the big crêpes day.

READ ALSO What is the big crêpes day in France all about?

This article is part of The Local France's 2020 virtual advent calendar – every day until Christmas we will be presenting you with a person or object that has a particular significance to life in France.


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