Every year, there is a special fête that takes place at the end of November in several of the villages around here. The ‘fête de pommé‘ is the annual making of ‘pommé’, a kind of jam made from apples. The history of this goes back to the second world war. Butter was in short supply, so the local people pooled their apples and got together to make pommé, which was a cheap and easy alternative to having butter on bread. The product is now made and sold as a regional speciality, and it is local volunteers who get together every year to do produce it.
The making of the pommé takes place over a weekend in Tremblay – and starts with hundreds of apples being peeled, cored and quartered at the local school. In order to make 100kg of Pommé, 250kg of apples are required, as well as a barrel of sweet cider. On the Friday night, in the back room of the village hall, two fires are lit and the cider is heated in two huge copper pots over a wood fire at midnight. This then simmers for 12 hours (the fire has to be fed by volunteers at this time). After this, the peeled apples are added for the next 19 hours, and the mixture has to be stirred constantly ‘ramaougerie’ to ensure that it doesn’t stick by the volunteers, who work through the night.
The mixture is ready by 2am Sunday and then it is put into jars and sold later that day. Of course the volunteers are kept well fed and refreshed by crêpes and wine during the weekend. There are various events in the village hall – a children’s Breton dancing, a meal on the Saturday night and on Sunday a dance. It is probably one of the most important events of the year in Tremblay.