Mont St-Michel, a 13th Century church in Normandy

Bienvenue a Normandy! Normandy is in northwest France, where more than 300 miles of scenic, rocky coastline are juxtaposed with rolling hills of lush green pastures and orchards. The proximity to the sea provides the region with plenty of fresh seafood, while the rich inland soil provides the perfect environs for the famously delicious apples as well as excellent cream from the cattle that are farmed there.

The cheeses of Normandy are creamy and extremely rich. Camembert, a regional specialty, is usually eaten in small quantities after dinner. Other favorites include Livarot and Neufchâtel.

Apples are a very important and widely used ingredient in the north of France – especially in Normandy. Calvados is a strong apple brandy that is served throughout the day. The traditional liqueur is often home-brewed in Normandy. Long and heavy meals are often broken up with a glass of calvados called a Trou Normand to settle the stomach and prepare the palette for the next course.

Tartes aux pommes (apple tarts) originate from this region. Similar to the American apple pie, these tarts use both sliced apples as well as an applesauce-like filling in a dense, buttery crust called paté sucre. The tarts are regularly served with a sharp cheese or fresh whipped cream.

  calvados, a local apple brandy  
  camembert cheese           tarte aux pommes  

Recipe: Camembert & Leek tarts (left)

click on photo for recipe

Recipe: Tarte aux Pommes (right)


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