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A dilemma in Normandy that has an startling culinary speciality

January 22nd, 2016 by admin | Filed under Blog.

The common black pudding is an occasional culinary guilty pleasure we had come to associate with Clonakilty during many family holidays in Ireland. 

Forget a ingredients, we regarded a West Cork cracker as a jubilant breakfast staple, totally outshining a tedious roundels of paste some-more mostly than not served adult during English strand BBs. 

But that was until we done a utterly astonishing find low in a sensuous Orne segment of Normandy. 

Tasty town: Mortagne-au-Perche is a French collateral of boudin noir, a sweetmeat that is done adult of pig’s blood, pig fat and onions

Tasty town: Mortagne-au-Perche is a French collateral of boudin noir, a sweetmeat that is done adult of pig’s blood, pig fat and onions

For here is a hilltop nation city that prides itself as being a French collateral of a black pudding, or boudin noir as it is famous locally. 

Mortagne-au-Perche celebrates a nation speciality – done of, wait for it, pig’s blood, pig fat and onions – each third weekend in March. 

The festivities embody an general foe for a best black pudding, cookery demonstrations and even a competition for a best black-pudding eater. 

The award-winning boudin noir takes honour of place on a displays of a many mobile butchers’ wagons that debate markets around this pleasant nonetheless little-discovered area of south-east Normandy. 

When cooked, a brownish sausage-like coherence turns darker and a onion essence comes to a fore. 

I confess, distinct a consultant boudin noir judges, we unsuccessful to be totally won over by this French informal delicacy, though it’s an acquired ambience we could get accustomed to. 

However, we did rise an present fondness for another internal speciality: cider done from a apples we see weighing down many of a trees for that a area is famous. 

Tasty delights: Black pudding, or boudin noir as it is famous locally Tasty delights: Cheese and cider from a Orne region

Tasty delights: Black pudding, or boudin noir as it is famous locally (left) and cheese and cider from a Orne segment (right) 

Despite vital in a West Country of England for some-more than half a decade, I’ve not taken to a mass-produced apple-infused sparkle proffered during my internal pub. 

But entrance from a cider-producing segment of Britain meant we felt during home during a Perche inhabitant park, where many of France’s ‘cidre’ is constructed (the tie between these English and French areas is recognized by a twinning of a marketplace city of Rémalard with Castle Cary in Somerset). 

And we positively grown a improved ambience for a French apple and pear ciders – that have champagne-style froth and nothing of a honeyed aftertaste of a British equivalents – and all for reduction than €5 (£3.70) a bottle. 

I bought some from a sharp fromagerie only a few miles from where we was staying with my mother and dual children in a traditional, stone-built gite conflicting an commanding Norman church in a little community of Condeau. 

Fine fare: The weekly food marketplace during Mortagne-au-Perche has an array of opposite furnish to buy

Fine fare: The weekly food marketplace during Mortagne-au-Perche has an array of opposite furnish to buy

Condeau is a integrate of hours’ expostulate south-east from Caen’s packet port, though also has a sinecure on a Paris to Le Mans categorical line – a French collateral can be reached in about dual hours on a train. 

No consternation Parisians cruise this to be their weekend shelter of choice, with many opting to sinecure bikes to re-create mini Tours de France along a undulating, traffic- giveaway lanes. 

Enthusiasts can even take to a saddle from Paris and float a 260 miles on a signposted ‘Veloscenic’ track around Chartres and a Perche inhabitant park to Mont Saint-Michel. 

While Condeau is too tiny to exaggerate a boulangerie, there is an workman bakery, a booze emporium and a Domain De Villeray hotel , grill and sauna – built on a site of a 16th Century palace and an aged indent house. 

An afternoon in a hotel’s pool and saunas cost only €12 (£8.90). 

We bought uninformed goat’s cheese from a Aritoire plantation emporium and fromagerie, where a farmer’s immature sons were fervent to uncover us a stable where a goat herds furnish a divert to emanate a soft, white cheese. 

Although good inland, we swam in a lake, finish with a well-groomed sandy beach, and there were options for stream kayaking and equine riding. 

Time for a tipple: Much of France’s ‘cidre’ is produced Perche inhabitant park (the tie between these English and French areas is recognized by a twinning of a marketplace city of Rémalard with Castle Cary in Somerset)

Time for a tipple: Much of France’s ‘cidre’ is produced Perche inhabitant park (the tie between these English and French areas is recognized by a twinning of a marketplace city of Rémalard with Castle Cary in Somerset)

The strength of a bruise opposite a euro valid to be a reward during a daily outings to nation markets. 

One, in Longny-du-Perche, valid a prettiest and many endless as we assimilated locals over coffee outward a café before browsing stalls brimful with uninformed internal produce. 

Although many of Normandy seemed to be shuttered adult and on holiday in August, we managed to find a roadside grill for lunch in Belleme where 3 courses cost reduction than £40 including a drink and dual eyeglasses of wine. 

For this cost we enjoyed a critical plot du jour of smoked salmon terrine, steep leg with rosti, and apricot clafoutis. 

By holding a possess car, that we pressed full with wine, cheese and a famous ‘cidre’ for a return, we were means to also suffer a minicruise to and from France, sitting out on rug sunbathing on a six-hour voyage. 

Booking a cabin on Brittany Ferries’ vessels from Portsmouth to Caen and behind helped make a channel run uniformly as we had a bottom and could take a snooze though being disturbed.

I even managed to equivocate my fraud internal multiplex by holding my dual children to watch Inside Out in one of a complicated ferry’s dual full-screen cinemas. 

I done a indicate of checking a menu of a swish brasserie on board, though it appears that there’s no pointer of boudin noir channel a Channel any time soon. 

TRAVEL FACTS 

Gîtes de France (en.gitesde-france.com) offers a week during a three-bedroomed lodge in Condeau from €320 (£236). 

Brittany Ferries’ fares from Portsmouth to Caen start during £79 one-way for a automobile and dual passengers. (brittanyferries.com, 0330 159 7000). 

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