What would be on your top 10 Normandy foods list? There’s certainly plenty to choose from but here’s my suggestions for foodie treats you should try on your next trip.
- Apple juice, cider, pommeau calvados
The rich and fertile soil provides the perfect growing conditions for bumper crops of apples. From September through to October almost every household picks apples from their tree. Small producers bottle the fruits of their labour and you can buy the wide variety of products they produce. You can visit this nearby farm, learn about cider production, visit the museum and indulge in a tasting.
Practically every restaurant in Normandy features mussels on their menu in season. Moules frites is what you should look for on the menu. Although the dish originates from Belgium, mussels are plentiful in Normandy due to the favourable coastal conditions.
Typically French! Dairy products are a key Normandy industry and the creamy milk is used to make cream and cheese. There are four Normandy cheeses; camembert, livarot, pont l’évêque and neufchâtel. Each has their own distinct flavour. There’s even a camembert made in my local town of Gavray.
One in four oysters eaten in France comes from Normandy. There’s an oyster bar in Agon-Coutainville and you can also visit an oyster farm in nearby Blainville-sur-mer or Gouville-sur-mer to learn how they’re farmed.
This creamy rice pudding is a Normandy speciality. Short grain rice, milk, sugar and cinnamon are slowly baked in the oven until the milk is absorbed and a crust appears on top. The pudding is then chilled before being eaten.
- Caramel sauce and caramels
The caramels that are made in Isigny are beautifully creamy. Confiture de lait is the Normandy sauce that’s equally delicious. It can be drizzled over yoghurt, ice cream or pancakes.
As well as oysters and mussels featured above, crabs, lobsters, whelks, scallops and prawns are also very popular. Many of the restaurant around the port of Granville specialise in seafood. From 29 – 30 September Granville will be hosting a seafood festival. Entry is free. It’s called ‘Toute La Mer sur Un Plateau’ (Seafood On A Plate) and will feature cookery demonstrations, workshops and tastings. Seafood products will also be on sale to take away or to enjoy for lunch. For more information click here
Or pancakes as you may know them. Most towns have a crêperie where the bulk of the menu is sweet and savoury pancakes. Galette is a savoury pancake and crêpe is the sweet alternative. My favourite crêperie is in Granville high town and is called La Courtine.
The lambs that graze on marsh land at Mont St Michel and around the Cotentin coast are used to produce a dish called agneau pre-salé. It literally means pre-salted lamb.
- Pastries, cakes and breads
While there aren’t Normandy specialities, the displays in the boulangeries and patisseries are simply amazing. It’s difficult to choose a favourite but I’ve discovered an almond and chocolate croissant that is particularly yummy. The savoury baguettes are also hard to resist. You slice them into small morsels and serve them with drinks as a apéritif.
We spent 3 weeks creating the best online guide to Normandy on the web. It includes everything from a bucket list, must see attractions to the best places to eat and drink.
It covers Mont St Michel, Monet’s garden, the D Day beaches, wine tours and much more. .
It’s packed with our personal recommendations, maps and videos.
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