October 26, 2011
It's so exciting when a place exceeds all of your (already high) expectations. Calvados, one of the three departments in Basse Normandie, did just that.
And then some!
First there's the scenery.
Lush green pastures, picture-perfect postcard villages awash in blooming hydrangeas, geraniums and dahlias, old stone houses wrapped in vibrant red and orange autumn leaves and vast, sandy beaches. And those cows!
Then there's the food. My god, the food!
I knew that Normandy is famous for its cream, butter and cheese, but nobody ever told us about the ice cream. Every flavor we tasted was seriously rich and delicious.
Our arrival also coincided with the beginning of scallop season. Big, sweet coquilles Saint-Jacques were available at the port, fresh off the boats from the fishermen and women who had been out in the Channel that morning. Quickly sautéed and enjoyed with leeks and cream, bien sûr, and a glass of cold Chardonnay in our gîte's little kitchen. Sublime!
And I can't forget to mention the local apéritif, Pommeau. I'm not really a fan of the region's famous apple brandy, Calvados, but love Pommeau.
(there's also a cheese matured in Pommeau, which is truly amazing)
Most importantly though, were the people. So friendly, so welcoming and so happy to share their corner of Normandy with us.
Calvados is a region we will happily return to.