Normandy is breathtaking. Laden with scenic and architectural marvels, and steeped in a rich cultural heritage, every adventure you have in the region will thrill and inspire you—including the gastronomic ones. From apples and dairy to seafood and poultry, the cuisine of Normandy is some of the most flavorful you can experience.
Each region of France can boast about the fact that it produces it’s own cheeses. In Normandy, where the rolling countryside allows for cattle to graze, the region’s cheeses—most notably camembert—are characterized by many rich components. Though similar in texture and softness to brie, camembert is a cheese all its own with a enticing aroma, supple texture, and buttery taste.
Cider and Brandy
Apples are frequently featured in Norman cooking in both savory and sweet dishes, but it’s the liquid by-products—cider and apple brandy—that are synonymous with the region. The most well-known variety of Norman brandy is calvados, which, consumed as an aperitif between meals, is a tradition that is passed down in many homes and restaurants. Don’t be surprised to find yourself toasting another perfect day in Normandy over pints of cider with loved ones and new friends!
Of all the bivalves found off the shores of Normandy, the mussel reigns supreme. Keep an eye out for the famed Moules à la Normandie—mussels cooked in cider with mushrooms and herbs that highlight the region’s varied culinary offerings. In the cooler months visitors can warm up with delightful comfort food in the form of seafood stew featuring locally harvested mussels accompanied by halibut, haddock, prawns, or scallops in varied combinations.
If you’ve never savored a freshly baked, light, flaky brioche, you’ve never truly experienced Normandy. The region’s premiere pastry, brioche has been a part of the Norman canon of pastries for centuries. Its rich, tender flavor is derived from the high egg and butter to flour ratio used in its composition; what makes it uniquely Norman is the exceptional quality of the local dairy products that comprise its ingredients.
Come discover what makes the cuisine of Normandy some of the most exciting in France while you cruise down the Seine on Vantage Travel’s Treasures of France: A Grand River Journey from Normandy to Provence tour. Whether you’re sitting down to dinner in the ship’s opulent dining hall or grabbing lunch at a quaint bistro in Rouen, you will find yourself partaking in a once in a lifetime culinary experience. Further downriver you will marvel at the bright lights of Paris, but the homey smells and taste of Normandy will forever remain close to your heart.