Eco-Gites of Lenault is in the Calvados department of the region of Lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie) and this department is famous for, amongst other things, the drink that bears it's name - Calvados. The department of Calvados was created after the French Revolution although the name of Calvados as a drink had been in use for many years before that. Calvados is an apple brandy distilled from cider and a Calvados distiller may use between 100 and 200 varieties of apple to create his drink. In the briefest of summaries, apples are pressed to release their juice which is then fermented into cider before being distilled into eau de vie which is aged in oak casks for a minimum of 2 years to create Calvados. The longer the ageing process, the better quality and smoother the Calvados.
Good quality Calvados is a wonderful drink that can warm right to the inner depths on a cold Winter's day. It is also one of two ingredients in a palate cleanser that is eaten between courses of a large French meal/feast - A Trou Normand. A simple creation, Calvados is poured over a scoop of apple sorbet and is usually served between the starter and the main course, allowing the palette to be cleansed and ready for what invariably is a heavy, meat laden main course. It translates as a Normandy Hole ... not quite sure why though!
|Un Trou Normand (Image from Tendance Ouest)|
We first came across this Normandy delight at the village mechoui or BBQ. A starter of sausages was followed by a main course of spit roasted lamb or pork with the Trou Normande served in between, much needed with all that meat around. We were at this particular mechoui with friends and whilst we managed to stop the organisers pouring Calvados onto the boys' bowls of sorbet, our friends were not so vigilant. "Cor, Mum," exclaimed Mary-Anne, then aged 9, "I like this ice cream thing!"
Have you ever eaten a Trou Normand? If not, you could always try one when you book yourself a holiday here at Eco-Gites of Lenault! We might even make you one if you order one of our first night suppers and you mention that you read about it here on the blog ....