Visiting Normandy, France with AmaWaterways

The climate of Normandy is ideal for apples and pears. The Cider Route is Normandy’s answer to the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky or the Napa Wine Trail of California. Strong cider and an aged apple brandy, Calvados, are the liquid stars. This fermented liquor is used as a key ingredient in savory and sweet dishes. Of course, by itself, it is the perfect aperitif or combined with a sorbet as a palate cleanser. Personally, we enjoyed a 15 year aged Calvados to cap off a few evenings. A bottle was a stowaway on our return trip to the States.

Many stores sell Calvados

Many stores sell Calvados in Normandy

Calvados is perfect to serve after dinner with dessert or used to prepare many desserts

Calvados is perfect to serve after dinner with dessert or used as an ingredient in many desserts

If you’re wondering what’s on the menu for dinner, lamb is one of the most prized meats raised in Normandy. The lamb is pastured in the salt marshes giving it a unique flavor. The rich farmland and marsh flats of Rouen also produce highly sought-after ducks and chickens that are shipped all over the world.

The markets sell live poultry

The markets in Normandy sell live poultry

Truly free-range chickens

Truly free-range chickens

Fresh seafood is abundant in Normandy

Fresh seafood is abundant in Normandy

Lastly, from a culinary perspective, nothing steals the spotlight more than the fruits de mer (fruit of the sea). The 400 mile shoreline is home to diverse seafood that is hours fresh from sea to plate. Clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp, and lobster are just a few of the delectable seafood offerings in Normandy. To experience Normandy in one bite, try Moules a la Normande, mussels cooked with apples and cream or Poulet Vallee d’Auge, a dish that combines chicken cooked in Calvados with apples, butter and cream.

Fresh local fish was on the menu every evening on board the ship

Fresh and delicious local fish was on the menu every evening on board the ship

We hope you’ve enjoy our overview of Normandy and we’ll have a few more posts about our river cruise with AmaWaterways and our journey from Paris to Normandy this past April.

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