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Saturday 2 Oct 2021    Regions of France

Region of the Month: Normandie

Known to be a weekend destination for Parisians hoping to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, Normandy attracts visitors looking to fill up on some much needed R&R (rest and recuperation). The landscape snuggles up against the northern coastline spanning over 600 km of the English Channel, it is peppered with tranquil beaches and exposed limestone cliffs. Going inland, the terrain is abundant and verdant, dense pastures dotted with Normandy’s famous cows known as the Normandes can be seen for miles on end. Thanks to this lush soil and fertile farmland these cows produce some of the richest and finest dairy products of France. Their creams, butter and cheeses are world renowned and serve as the base to their unique and decadent cuisine.

As far as cheese goes, Camembert de Normandie is a given but did you know that Pont l'Évêque and Livarot also come from this region? Pont l'Évêque is thought to be the oldest Norman fromage still in production since the 12th century and at first glance is quite similar in taste and texture to Camembert. It is slightly more pronounced in flavor, a bit tangy, has hazelnut notes and exudes a rustic barnyard aroma, in a good way! Livarot on the other hand, has a distinct flavor profile that is hard to mistake and is highly revered by fromage afficionados. The texture is soft and creamy with little holes, and if you were to push your thumb against it, it would have a springy quality to it. Famous for its pungent aroma, the moment it hits your palette it immediately melts into your mouth and overwhelms you with a sharp nutty flavor. As the taste evolves, notes of citrus are apparent and leaves you with a spicy aftertaste. An absolute whirlwind of an experience and definitely as must try!

It would be a gross oversight on our part if we didn’t talk about the almighty Normandy Apple. This apple is responsible for the renowned local brandy Calvados and famous Cider is not to be overlooked. The brandy is not only a delightful tipple but is also widely used in Normand cuisine - a simple but delicious and chic meal can be prepared in minutes from it! For dinner - sautée pounded-out chicken breasts, flambée them with Calvados and cream, season to taste, et voilà, a true French Normandy Classic! As for dessert, you can't go wrong with a Tarte Tatin - the infamous caramelized upside down apple tart.

Now that fall has arrived and all the colors are showing themselves in their magnificent glory, a day or two tracing 'La Route du Cidre' (The Cider Route) - a 25 mile trail that takes you along the picturesque scenery of grazing cows, cider producers, and greenery galore - the perfect way to honor this season! Meander through little villages soaking up the local architecture and tasting ciders in old manors and distilleries, what better way to pass an autumn day.

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If you missed out on the first chapter of this series covering La Lorraine region, click here.

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As wine deserves a section all to itself, you can find our beginner guides to French Wines on our blog!

To learn more about wines from the Provence Region, click here.

To learn more about wines from the Sud-Ouest Region, click here.

To learn more about wines from the Bordeaux Region, click here.

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