27 November 2020 by Jessica Boston
Gastronomy in Normandy – delicious food that’s just across The Channel!
Normandy is renowned for its food culture and gastronomy, dip into the delicious produce, wonderful markets and restaurants offering everything from Michelin starred dining to street food treats on a holiday or short break just a ferry ride away!
Discover the apples, seafood and cheese of the region
Apples underpin some of the most famous produce of the region, the orchards of Normandy are responsible for delicious apple juice, cider and calvados apple brandy. There is also plenty of beautiful patisserie showcasing this favourite local fruit with tarts and flans, cakes and puddings all elevating the humble apple to new culinary heights.
Normandy is also famous for the seafood fished and farmed on its coastline; succulent mussels and clams, luxurious oysters, scallops and lobsters, and beautiful herrings. Enjoy the freshest shellfish at harbourside market stalls and restaurants, and discover famous dishes like Coquilles Saint-Jacques, Marmite Dieppoise and Moules Mariniere in the Normandy style made with local cider and Calvados. There are four famous cheeses with AOC status made in Normandy. The best known is the classic Normandy Camembert, a creamy, flavoursome cheese with a soft white rind that comes in round wooden boxes ideal for baking whole! Neufchatel has a similar texture with a sharper, saltier flavour to Camembert, and this cheese is produced in a romantic heart shape. Pont l’Eveque is the third AOC cheese produced in Normandy, it’s been made here since the 12th century and is a pungent washed rind soft cheese produced in square blocks. The last one (at time of writing) is Liverot, with a distinctive orange rind, and stripes around its circular sides it is sometimes known locally as ‘the colonel’.
Take a foodie tour
If you want to get the full story on the history and production of the famous food of Normandy there are plenty of attractions dedicated to the gastronomy of the region. Delicious days out to choose from include tours and tastings at many of the local cider and Calvados producers, museums celebrating Normandy’s cheesemaking heritage, cooking classes where you can learn classic local recipes, and farms and markets to visit where artisan producers can showcase their skills.
Dine out with local people… and Michelin stars…
There are three restaurants holding a coveted two Michelin star rating in Normandy and a further twenty five that have been awarded one star so the finest dining opportunities are never far away. And don’t worry if you haven’t got the funds for one of these exclusive establishments, you can enjoy the food of Normandy on a shoestring when you seek out the bistros, cafes and street food the local people choose. The French know a thing or two about food, so if you can find independent restaurants with recommendations, or a busy spot where French people outnumber the tourists you are likely to be onto a winner! If you stay at one of our holiday homes the owner is sure to have some tips on where you can find great food to fit your budget. Daily changing menus reflecting the best seasonal buys from the market or the catch of the day are another great indication you are going to eat well, be adventurous and go with the set menu, even if you are not quite sure what you’re going to get!
Plan a foodie mini-break or holiday in Normandy and you won’t be disappointed! Enjoy a culinary safari around the region and stock up on tinned seafood, jars of fish soup, caramels, butter and cider to take home – you can even bring home some delicious cheeses if you come prepared with sturdy tupperware to avoid a rather fragrant return car journey! Browse our Normandy cottages and B&B accommodation and book your trip today!