March 3, 2016

Bonjour Mes Amis,
Normandy, a region in the northwest corner of France, is a destination known for its rich history and wealth of culinary offerings. With its abundance of farms and orchards and close proximity to the ocean, Normandy has become famous for its apple and dairy production, as well as its fresh seafood. The French are justifiably proud of their regional cuisines, and we are happy to present some of the best from Normandy at Paris Grocery.

Petit Livarot $15.99
This luscious washed rind cow’s milk cheese is only produced in the Pays d’Auge in Normandy, an area known for its cheese. It has a strong spicy flavor with hints of garlic, smoked nuts, and an earthy richness. Pair this delightful cheese with a French Cider.

Isigny Ste Mere Butter $11.99/lb
The area of Isigny in Normandy was formally the largest wetlands in Europe. Today, cows graze on grass that grows from the rich soil, producing a butter that is abundant in minerals. Unsalted and smooth, with notes of hazelnuts, this delicious butter is ideal for baking. Use it to make Tarte Tatin!

Caramels D’Isigny $17.99
These caramels are made with butter as well as cream from Isigny. Each box comes with an assortment of original and flavored caramels, including hazelnut, apple, chocolate, and calvados.

In Normandy, apples were used mostly for cooking or baking and not commonly considered suitable for eating. The abundance of cooking apples in the region gave Normandy a reputation for producing some of the most delicious apple desserts in all of France. I recommend baking the classic Apple Tart Normande

Le Cidre
The French have been making cider for hundreds of years, learning about apple cultivation from the Celtic Gauls, and later from the Romans. The first mention of cider was made by the Greek geographer, Strabo, who described a cider-like drink. In the 9th century, Charlemagne had brewers on his estates to produce a cider-like beverage, and he is responsible for the expansion of apple tree plantings into what is now Northern France. Today, French cider, cidre, is produced predominantly in Normandy and Brittany. It varies in strength, anywhere between 2-4% alcohol to considerably higher. French cider also comes in a variety of styles: Cidre Doux is, generally, a lower-alcohol, sweet cider; Demi-Sec and Cidre Brut are both strong, dry ciders, and are normally 4.5% alcohol in strength or higher. Most French ciders are sparkling, and higher quality ciders are sold  as ‘cidre bouché’ and come in champagne-style bottles, with cork closures. Making allowances for regional rivalries, one can say that the ciders of Normandy and Brittany are stylistically similar, both possessing a mildly fruity, refreshing quality, unlike their Basque counterparts from Southern France, which are dry, earthy and pungent. Southern Normandy also produces sparkling pear cider, poiré, which is equally refreshing and certainly worth seeking out. Here are some of our offerings at Paris Grocery.

Dupont Reserve Cidre Bouché $24.99
This natural cider from Domaine Dupont was matured in oak casks which previously contained Calvados; this aging imparts subtlety and excellent complexity to the cider. Possesses Aromas of pineapple and lemon with hints of calvados. The apples were harvested in 2013 and matured in 2014. 6.9% a.b.v.

Pacory Cidre Le Costaud $13.99
Made from apples grown in their orchards in Haut-Tige, in Southern Normandy. The cider is aged in old Calvados barrels. pairs excellently with Camembert. 7% a.b.v. We also sell their poiré; try some!

Duché de Longueville Non-alcoholic French Sparkling Cider $9.99
Pour les enfants–why should they miss out on the fun? Since 1950, Duché de Longueville has been making this cider from apples harvested in Normandy. A cider of unadulterated freshness and charm, that explodes with the scent of apples; it possesses a lively
effervescence that is both refined and delicate.

Manoir du Parc Cidre Brut $7.99
A slightly earthier style of Norman cider. 5% a.b.v.

A la Prochaine!
Kelsey & Manuel