We tend to eat our way through villages and towns when we visit France. It seems wrong not to. The foods of Normandy, France are of such high quality and so deeply satisfying you’ll be crazy not to try them on your next visit. Here’s a list of all the best Normand foods to look out for, and where we found them.
Produce from apples
The drinks to look out for are the Normandy cider, Calvados and Pommeau (a mix of apple juice and apple brandy).
Locals are proud of their regional produce and you’ll find wonderful shops everywhere, stuffed full of apple produce (and pear, which is also grown here).
This beautiful shop is found in Honfleur by Saint Catherine’s church. There are always samples on the barrel just outside.
We found the cider tastes reeeally appley. It slips down very easily!
For Calvados connoisseurs there is a specialist shop in Honfleur right on the quay side.
We got ours from a smart little shop selling the best quality everything in the village of Beuzeville called Fournier Dagorno.
The trou Normand is a down-in-one, small glass of Calvados often consumed in the middle of a long meal to help the palate savour the dishes (any excuse!).
Today, it often accompanies a refreshing apple sorbet (more my bag).
At the restaurant Auberge le Clos Saint Julien in a tiny village 10 minutes from Deauville/Trouville, they mix calvados with other delicious things for a dreamy orange and coffee Calvados blend. They even gave us the recipe!
Find the recipe in our foodie Honfleur blog post, munch, brunch, lunch in Honfleur.
Just don’t forget to try Normandy apple juice. That way, you’ll get to see what all the fuss is about. It’s fantastic!
But, by far MY favourite way of sampling their apples and pears are their incredible pies and flans.
They are often accompanied by almonds and crumble, like this perfect apple pie served fresh at La Petite Chine in Honfleur.
and this crunchy crumbly pear tart from Tartine Et Macaron, up the hill heading out of Honfleur.
But sometimes the most simple tart beats them all. This perfect tart is from Aux Délice de L”Etoile in the plush town of Deauville.
God bless their acres of apple orchards!
Milk and Dairy Produce
Naturally when talking of foods of Normandy, France you think of cheeses, creams and butter from their fluffy cows that you see in timeless fields around many of their villages.
The butter and cream from Isigny is considered some of the very best, and I’d agree, it’s standout good!
Regional cheese, as you’d expect, is also famous. Try their Normandy Camembert, Pont L’eveque (possibly Normandy’s oldest cheese) or Livarot (see below) served with a crunchy baguette, local butter and honey. Oh la la!!
Their cream is to die for. If you can find some, fresh from the local farms, don’t miss out! We found ours at a favourite deli of ours in Beuzeville called Aux Delice de la Table.
You’ll find pouring dairy products rather special in the lands of Normands…
Sablés d’Asnelles are the classic butter biscuits for the region. You will also find lots of variations, tho’ butter, almonds and apples are a constant and welcome theme! We bought these in a regional section of the local supermarket just outside Honfleur.
You’ll find delicious Isigny Caramels made with regional butter everywhere, especially in tourist spots like Honfleur. We found these ones in a chocolate shop Jeff de Bruge.
Following the dairy theme, they have a traditional rice pudding with cinnamon. It’s a typical Norman Dessert. Look out for a rice dessert called Teurgoule.
This one was served in Brasserie La Cantine in Deauville and it was really creamy (and filling!).
The only thing I didn’t get to try is their milk jam ‘confiture de lait’. There’s a good chance that you’ll find some at one of the regions many and regular food markets.
They love their meat here. It’s not just seafood in Normandy at all!
Pork dishes are traditional and Bayeux pork is the one to look out for. This pork is slathered in Camembert and is served at Brasserie La Cantine in Deauville.
This shot was taken a couple of years ago at a restaurant in Honfleur called L’Endroit. It is a celebration of Normandy charcuterie.
Duck dishes are also traditional in this region. This one is served at Brasserie La Cantine in Deauville.
As well as local farmers producing prized ducks they also produce some of the best lamb in the world. A favourite spring dish is roasted pré salé lamb which gets its name and flavour from the grassy salt marshland where the sheep graze.
But we’ve been visiting Normandy in Autumn lately when many lamb shanks are on menus, like this one served at Le Gambetta in Honfleur.
Regional farmers do also produce some prized chicken. Poulet de Bresse is held particularly in high regard.
Nothing is wasted, and tripe is used in stews, but I shall leave this to your imagination. You’ll find it in most butchers and food markets. Shudder.
Restaurant L’Endroit is where we sampled many of Normandy’s seafoods including a freshly dressed lobster…
Mussels a la creme… (well, their cream IS so good!)
Frogs legs! OK, not from the sea and not typically regional to Normandy but so very French!!
and these beautiful Oysters, which are straight from the Normandy shoreline.
Try marmite dieppoise which is a creamy seafood stew typical of Normandy. You’ll either love it or hate it!
The foods of Normandy, France are both simple and really rather wonderful. I suggest you head to Normandy having either dieted a little first or wear elasticated waist lines and then just go for it!
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