Fromages de Normandie – Our French holiday.

Even the Christmas is already on our doorstep and I should feel all festive and hope for some snow, instead,  I found some pictures of our summer holiday, which my son said was best ever. We rented the cottage in Normandy for our extended family, which we found from the French webpage,  it wasn’t orientated to English tourists , so it was real French holiday as French doing it.  :).. at least we thought so.059

Lonni took her responsibility to guard us very seriously 🙂

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She also made friends with Romeo, the pony, who came with the cottage and we were responsible to feed him with carrots.French Holiday0395

That’s why, Timo said, it was best holiday ever – their could spend 24/7 with their cousins. Lesson learnt – no need for expensive entertainment – friends, board games, local swimming pool and family – that’s all you need for have a good time.French Holiday0114…and we had chef in hand 🙂French Holiday1282

and I spent lots of my time doing this 🙂French Holiday2153

One of many our holiday culinary highlights was local cheese testing, which I carefully planned and kept everyone excitedly waiting the grand degustation.115

French have established AOC (Appelation d’Origine Controlee) system, which helps them  preserve and protect centuries of cheesemaking. The rules are quite strict:

– the area where cattle may graze

-the origin and type of feed provided

– the breed of cattle that furnish the milk

 – the cheese must be made in season

-how the cheese is made

– the shape and size of the cheese

– how the cheese is stored

In Normandy they have world famous cheeses produced from milk by wonderful brown and white cows you can see everywhere on a road side munching away.

Camembert – light and soft, with delicate bloom and probably most well known and loved cheese in England. The true Camembert is made from untreated cow’s milk, is not less than 10 cm across and contains at least 45% fat. Ripe and ready Camembert should become soft and smooth in the middle and turning from white to creamy yellow.

Livarot – creamy inside its orange crust. It’s heavy in the mouth, it leaves spicy taste on the finish and it’s slightly larger than its relation Camembert. It may well be the most ancient French cheese.

Pont l’Evéque – again, one of the oldest cheeses of Normandy. Nowdays only about 2% of the cheese is farmhouse made, the majority comes from just 2 large producers. The milk for Pont l’Evéque must come from the local area and should ideally be absolutely fresh and still warm from the cow. The curd must be kneaded before it is drained. Unlike Camembert it is not imitated outside France.

Pave d’Auge – it’s a creamy cheese with reddish rind. The flavour is earthy and spicy. Can be little bitter.

And here are our opinions about those cheeses. Some of them are quite funny – too much wine me thinks. 🙂342

We also had some lovely time on the beaches, it’s not a holiday without going to a seaside. Growing up in summer resort, summer holiday = beach for me.047

Another culinary highlight was breakfast in the fish market. French Holiday0666Peter introduced me to oysters and I think it was most decadent breakfast I ever had – loved it and I’m hooked 🙂French Holiday0727

And our French holiday came to the end in the lovely town Honfleur – lovely port, sweet shops, picturesque streets. What else could you wish for.French Holiday22911 French Holiday21510 French Holiday2149

The End