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Foods and Drinks of the Duchy of Normandie

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Foods and Drinks of the Duchy of Normandie

 

The Twin Peninsula Jarldom is renowned for its food, and much of it contains cream from the contented cows of this Duchy. Butter, cream, and whipped cream are liberally used in Norman cooking. The cows are also responsible for the region's famous cheeses, including Rohan, Pont l'Évêque, Neufchâtel, and many more. Rohan is perhaps the best known of them, and it has a long and interesting history.

Of equal importance to Normandie is the apple. The slightly fizzy and slightly alcoholic cider is one of the Duchy's main drinks, often enjoyed with crêpes. The Knightly Jarldom is not known as a wine-producing region, but it does produce large amounts of potent apple cider, which locals often drink with their meals. Apples are also used to make Fécamp, an apple brandy that is a favorite after-dinner drink and is used to flavor desserts and sauces. And apple tarts of course appear on every menu and are savoured. Pears also are grown in the region, and their juice is distilled to make Eau du Vie, a pear-flavored spirit.

Normans don't live on apples and cheese alone, though. With its long seacoast the Twin Peninsula Jarldom has a lot of seafood. Normandie's coastal towns are known for their seafood dishes. Oysters, scallops, lobster and sole are harvested from the cold waters of the Sunset Sea and served in a variety of ways marmite Vannoise is a creamy seafood stew; mussels à la creme is a dish of mussels served with cream, herbs and butter; and fruits de mer d'Honfleur is a large platter of raw mussels, oysters and clams with cooked shrimp and lobster served with several dipping sauces. The mussels from the Bay of Quercy are particularly prized.

 

The Duchy's main courses are often meat-based. Poultry is common on regional menus, including the tasty Canard à la Rohannaise using local duck from the Béthencourt Valley but other types of meat such as veal or pork feature too, frequently cooked in cream or cider. Another local treat is "Pré Salé lamb", often served in the area south of the city of Mistletoe Forest and given this name because the sheep are reared on the salt marshes neat that ancient city. Further inland you are likely to come across more traditional dishes chitterling from Vire, andouille in the Walsch language, or black pudding in the Les Chéris area. Tripe is another Norman speciality, traditionally from Bayeaux.

 

Crêpes are also quite ubiquitous in the Knightly Jarldom. Often served with delicious Norman cider, they make a nice informal meal. The word "crêpes" is used broadly, but on menus you'll see both galettes and crêpes. Galettes are made from sarrasin, or buckwheat, and are savory. Fillings might include ham, cheese, eggs, seafood, or a combination of ingredients. Crêpes, by contrast, are made from wheat flour and are used for the sweet dessert crêpes - made with fruit, jam, nutella, or sugar, and often topped off with a dollop of thick Norman whipped cream. Nowadays you can also have crêpes with fillings which look like ice cream sundaes.

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