Friday, October 17, 2008

Normany: More Then Calvados

Note: This post is an excerpt from my post, "A Day in Normandy" on Uberall.

Normandy is a major apple-producing region, and is known for its apple brandy, Calvados.
It’s available from farmers throughout the region: you just need to know what to look for. Small signs on the main road announce where to turn for local products. However, this is a mission that, especially for the non-French speaking traveler, must be taken on with a sense of adventure. Sometimes, when you find your way to the farm, there is no one home. Other times, you simply can't find the farm at all.

But when you do find a farm store, you are almost always rewarded for your efforts. We were.

Greeted by one of the owners of the orchard, we were invited into the farm's tasting room. Here we were given samples of four bottles of Calvados, each produced on site and aged for different lengths of time. Side by side tasters were able to discern differences as the liquor developed. We were also invited to taste the farm's cider and Pommeau.

Some claim that Pommeau is Normandy's best-kept secret. It is unfermented apple juice, fortified with Calvados (apple brandy) and aged in a barrel. It is kind of like an apple wine, with hints of pear and vanilla that is served in place of more common dessert wine, such as port.

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