Cheese and Cider in Normandy, France | 100 Days, Drinks, Dishes & Destinations | KQED

-We’ve all heard of England’s White Cliffs of Dover, and here is the French counterpart The steep chalk cliffs that were only one aspect of the area’s geography Travel inland, and it flattens to a patchwork of tree-lined fields where cows graze, flax, corn, and wheat are grown, and apples and pear trees thrive The magnificent scenery and the exquisite light is so unique that the Impressionist painters made it a point to paint here Welcome to Normandy, France “100 Days, Drinks, Dishes and Destinations” is brought to you by -With AmaWaterways, guests can climb, pedal, and journey beyond the beaten path while cruising on storied rivers across Europe You can find out more at amawaterways.com -When I picture my dad, Josh, I remember his hands — strong, they were worn, stained That was years of hard work as a lumberjack His commitment, work ethic, values, that’s what really inspired me to create Josh Cellars -Otherworldly and down-to-earth Visit Napa Valley -Come with me to stamp your passport to delicious I’m drinks and culinary expert Leslie Sbrocco, and I’m traveling, tasting, sipping, and savoring the world to share my bucket list of palate-pleasing experiences Egészségedre on “100 Days, Drinks, Dishes, and Destinations.” ♪♪ ♪♪ -Normandy is a large department in Western France with its coastline on the English Channel Normandy is divided into five departments, and we’re visiting two — Seine-Maritime and Calvados I’m standing in the center of the capital of Normandy, Rouen Vikings settled here, Richard the Lionheart was crowned Duke of Normandy, and his body is buried in the Cathedral ♪♪ Visitors beginning their journey into Normandy often start in Rouen You can arrive here by boat, by train, or by car It’s just a few hours from Paris ♪♪ This is La Couronne It’s the oldest inn in France, and it dates to 1345 It’s said that the windows were illuminated with the flames of Joan of Arc, who was burned right over here at the stake in 1431 ♪♪ This is where Julia Child had a French meal that changed the direction of her life and influenced so many of us American food lovers Merci, Julia! To get an insider’s look at the gastronomic and scenic treasures of Normandy, I have just the guide — a resident of 37 years who just happens to be my sister -Darling! Hi! -Hi! How are you? -So good to see you! -Mwah! Mwah! -You’ve brought with you the Californian sky and sun -I brought you the nice weather -You did -Oh, it looks beautiful! -Oh, thanks -The house looks beautiful I’m so happy to be here Lisa and David, her husband, bought this place nearly 30 years ago when it was in really bad shape They’ve lovingly restored it, along with raising five children, to make it a comfortable home And just like almost everyone in the French countryside, they grow vegetables, along with raspberries and strawberries -Okay, let’s go get the eggs -…and raise chickens for fresh eggs Lisa loves to cook — it does run in the family — and her kitchen really is the heart of this home It’s always a treat to visit David was born and raised in Normandy and revels in sharing stories of the history of this land He says that there are four C’s of Normandy — cows, Camembert, cider, and Calvados, or apple brandy And I’m getting up early to start with the cows [ Rooster crows ] Wake up! Rise and shine! It’s milking time! Just minutes from Lisa’s house is great cheese, true Norman Camembert, made on the farm of 5 Frères, or 5 Brothers Today, I’m visiting just three of them, along with Dad, and lots of highly coifed cows eating rich green grass So, you have the more ripe layer here, and creamy on the inside -Yes -So a month it’s been aged Mmm There’s an earthiness and sort of a grassy-ness to it, as well, but then it’s rich and ripe and kind of coats your palate with the creaminess

Mmm -Very good. [ Chuckles ] -Excellent -Mmm -Good? -This is the taste of Normandy Camembert and cider -Mm-hmm. Mmm -You like it? -Makes me happy Mm-hmm Mmm. That was a delicious breakfast, but for more happiness, we head just down the lane to Clos des Citots, where they make one of Lisa’s favorite ciders And who better to greet us than Charlotte, the resident donkey? She loves apples, too -[ Speaking French ] -Okay -So it’s a true Norman house from 17 -400-plus years old -Yeah -So to make cider, the basic four kinds of apples are sweet, bitter, bittersweet, and acidic It’s not -An exact science -An exact science -But much like wine, if you’re going to make a blend of a certain type of wine, you’re looking for a variety of flavors that each apple can give you, and then you’re making your choice of what the ultimate style will be -[ Speaking French ] -There are 1,000 varieties of cider apples, but they only use about 200 And they come from all over Europe -[ Gasps ] Wow -So this is what’s used for rosé cider The flesh is red in the Geneva, a Belgian apple ♪♪ Oh! Oh! [ Chuckles ] -Mm -[ Chuckles ] Ooh! -This one is French but a very old French variety -Antoinette -Antoinette ♪♪ -Well, it’s young, so it’s not quite ripe yet, but that’s quite sweet I would eat that -These apples have been picked just to show us the names of the apples and the colors of the apples, but, at maturity, they’ll be much bigger -And these are not varieties for eating These are varieties only for cider -You can mix, but, in general, it’s mainly the varieties that they use for cider Cider is the juice that is fermented to a certain level of alcohol, between 3% and 6% To make Calvados, then you use the same juice, and you continue to let it ferment, and then — until there’s no sugar left Then it’s distilled to make the alcohol -That’s what’s distilled And then, Pommeau is something in the middle, really -Pommeau is the fresh juice of the apples, which has not yet been fermented, that you mix with the Calvados So eau de vie de cidre is essentially the same as Calvados It’s apple brandy -Mm. Now that to me is apple It smells like buttered rum -Mm-hmm -You know? Doesn’t it? -It’s fruitier than rum -Mm-hmm -And it’s called eau de vie de cidre because we’re not in the Calvados appellation, but it’s the same, le même, to Calvados -This is just back to the straight stuff This is the juice ♪♪ Mmm -Yeah -It’s like the best apple juice you’ve ever tried, right? Merci -Merci Thank you so much Santé -Santé -And now we’re off to the White House — no, not the once in D.C This one dates back 600 years and is in the Normandy hamlet of Villequier on the banks of the Seine [ Bell ringing ] It’s where François-Xavier lives -Bonjour! -Bonjour! -Lisa. [ Speaks French ] Leslie Sbrocco -Hello -An honor to meet you -Wow -This is a beautiful home -Isn’t this? Look at this -So the royal girlfriend got a beautiful castle here -Yeah. And maybe — -500 years ago! -We don’t know -That’s right -This is Robert -Robert -Robert -Well, I think he was — This is his cider-drinking hand, and that maybe is his Calvados-drinking hand -He lose the hand -He lost the hand Hello, Robert. Enchanté ♪♪ ♪♪ François-Xavier is a young farmer focused on sustainability He’s reviving many of the old traditions He grows flax and hay, makes mustard, and, most notably, he raises very happy cows They get to indulge is his homemade cider, lots of it, which produces incredibly tender beef ♪♪

-Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm ♪♪ So it’s apple cider -Yeah -With an influence from the Champagne process -Yeah -Yes ♪♪ [ Cork pops ] -Good job -[ Chuckles ] -Merci -It’s a bit cloudy -Yeah. Right Because it’s unfiltered -Yeah -Yes Not only is this thirst-quenching, you can drink a lot of it, because it’s 4% alcohol -Mmm, it’s excellent -I would call this, you know, on the dry-ish side of the scale, even There’s sweetness from the fruit -Yeah -But it’s certainly not sweet You wouldn’t say it’s super sweet -No, it’s not sugary It’s not sugary -It’s not sugary. Uh-huh -But it’s fruity -Mm-hmm -You can really taste the fruit -Exactly -It’s like eating — crunching into -A sweeter apple -…an apple -Mm-hmm -A sweet apple dipped in a little caramel sauce -Excellent. Excellent ♪♪ -Now that we’ve covered three of the four C’s, we’re off to Honfleur, on the other side of the River Seine in the department, or county, of Calvados Honfleur is everything you imagine a Norman town to be It’s a small port at the mouth of the Seine with fishing boats and yachts, Norman architecture and narrow streets This is where Samuel de Champlain, the explorer who founded Quebec, sailed from, and it’s the birthplace in 1866 of famed composer Erik Satie Today, there are shops and art galleries and plenty of restaurant serving poisson — that’s fish Lots of poisson Bonjour! -Bonjour! [ Speaking French ] -And these are bigger? -Which one would you say is better? -Oh, it’s very different [ Speaking French ] -Very salty -Very salty -[ Speaking French ] -A little sweeter -So why don’t we try six of each of these? -Six and six? -Yeah, six and six -Okay -Let’s get a shrimp plate, too Okay? -What are these? -What are these? -Bulot cuit -Bulot cuit -Which is sea snails -Sea snails -Sea snails -Are there any local shrimp? -[ Speaking French ] -Oh, from Brittany, yeah -From Brittany -We can have a couple -Can we have a few of these and a couple of these and some langoustine? ♪♪ -Isn’t it pretty, yeah? -It’s so pretty -Very pretty -Oh! Thank you very much Looks beautiful -Little and bigger -A little bit of vinegar mixed with shallots -Mm-hmm -And then very simply — -Can you believe this is 10 Euros for this plate plus wine? -Plus wine. That’s so cheap -Well, because it’s — -Because it’s local -It’s local, yeah -It’s from here -So it’s true what she said, you know, the tiny one, from [speaks French] are softer -And they’re a little soft and sweet? -Those are more salty -Briny Has a really briny character? -Eh, salty. It’s good They’re good -Alright -Look at this I want you to eat one of these for Leslie I got these for you because I know you love these -The sea snail -But I’ve heard that the best way to eat these, you’ve got to take the outer casing off -Mm-hmm -It’s very chewy, very rubbery Okay, so This is for you ♪♪ -Such a delicacy -See, this is how I think of David I’m telling you, is when he’s — It brings him such joy to eat shellfish, to eat mussels -So I noticed you’re wearing your fish scarf -Well, I thought, you know, as long as we were going to eat fish that I might as well wear my scarf that I bought in Spain Santé -Who’s eaten my oysters? -It’s amazing! -You girls! -We weren’t even looking! What happened? ♪♪ ♪♪ -A little windy alleyway -[ Speaks French ] ♪♪ -The history of Normandy is about invasions, right? Being invaded or -Yes -Or invading -Long string of events -Yes, and Americans think, of course, of Normandy for D-Day beaches -Yes -You didn’t live through World War II -No, of course not -…but your parents did -Yes -That — You know, did you discuss it? Did you talk about it as a kid? -The family would never talk about it, despite the fact that they had direct exposure with the German army

because we had a big property, and we had to accommodate, in the family manor, the German officers -So the Germans took over your family house -They — Yes, of course Like in many other families, when you have big houses, they would just put their troops in the farm, and you would have to accommodate officers The younger generation do not really understand -Don’t remember -It’s not a matter of remembrance I think they simply do not realize what happened at this time, you know? It’s — It was a terrible thing for the American who came here They had no idea what they would find in front of them, and many of them died here And, of course, the French people appreciate what took place there and thanks the Americans for what they’ve done Today, I would say people are starting to talk about it a bit more So, we attended this year the 75th anniversary at Saint-Pierre-église with Lisa, and there was — there was quite a lot of people there Many people from all over Europe, and Americans, of course And it was a very emotional moment And here we come This is the light at the end of the tunnel Look at the church -This is the church of St. Catherine The wooden construction looks like an upside-down ship with a belfry across the street It’s a great place to stop for a café au lait and to people-watch But I’ve heard about a special little place owned by a member of a multi-generational family of Calvados experts with a selection of young and very old bottles -Bonjour Marianne! -Bonjour, Leslie! -[ Laughs ] I think I’m much too tall for these old buildings -Mwah! [ Conversing in French ] -Look at these bottles — 1939 -Yes It’s one of the oldest, and you can see my collection in the corner -1948, 1929, 1898 -1865. It’s the oldest -That’s the oldest bottle you have -Yes. Yes The first Calvados we heard about, it’s in the 16th century You have to find your Calvados -Right Each producer is a little bit different, right? -Yes. Exactly For example, the first is a young one When it’s young, we can call it fine -Mm-hmm -When you put “Fine” on the bottle, it mean more than 2 years old -Two years being the minimum to be called Calvados -Yes. Exactly Not too close -Oh! -This is really apple-y -It’s very apple-y It’s strong. It’s powerful -Mm-hmm -But there’s a delicacy to it It’s quite delicate -Mm -You know? -It’s elegant, yes -It is -Yes -It’s got a fruit-forward character -Mm-hmm I put always the last Calvados on my barrels I like it -I like that -Yes -I’ve never seen that Look at that That keeps it nice and moist -To keep it alive -That keeps the barrel moist and keeps the wood drunk Can I do that on this side? -Yes [ Both laugh ] Perfect -That’s fantastic -This one — 30 years old Stays 30 years old in big and old barrels -Mm-hmm -So the wood don’t come into the Calvados ♪♪ It’s very easy to drink, this one -Oh, that’s very easy to drink -Mm-hmm -That is — I would never have said that that’s a 30-year-old -So smooth -It’s so balanced -Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm -That’s lovely That’s really lovely -Thank you very much -Santé -Merci beaucoup -Merci beaucoup ♪♪ My sister remembers our next stop with great fondness — Fécamp It was her home when she first arrived in France ♪♪ It’s another historic and picturesque town worth visiting Her favorite little eatery is known for some of the freshest fish around -Bonjour, Madame -Bonjour, Leslie -The irrepressible Madame Nounoute, femme de pêcheur, began filleting mackerel at 18 years old She married her fisherman husband of 50 years and sold whole fish from the quay side before opening a store After his death, she converted the store to this little restaurant, using her lifetime of expertise in choosing and cooking the bounty of the sea Because you love making people happy -Yes -…you focus on preparing fish simply but with the freshest fish possible -[ Speaking French ] [ Laughter ]

[ Laughter ] Ah! ♪♪ [ Laughter continues ] [ Glasses clink ] -In stark contrast to this homey place, just blocks away is an opulent stone palace that’s straight from a storybook It’s where an ancient liqueur made from 27 medicinal plants and oriental spices was originally created by Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Fécamp Then the secret recipe was passed to the Le Grande family -So, here you can find a summary of the story of Bénédictine on the stained-glass window In the center, you can find Alexandre Le Grand, the founder of Bénédictine He’s shown the Bénédictine bottle to the renowned angel This is the symbol of the publicity with the trumpet -Mm-hmm -To export Bénédictine all over the world -This museum reflects the history of Bénédictine, how it’s made, and how it’s been fraudulently duplicated over the last century -The only one, which is the true one -Mm-hmm -…is this one And we still have the oldest Bénédictine bottle — you can see — in the glass there It dates back 1876, and you can find the original liqueur inside -I got to touch, see, and smell the multiple steps to making this magical elixir -So, this is the only one place where Bénédictine is still made nowadays -This is the only one — -The one place in the world -In the world, yes, for the real Bénédictine We have the eight main steps of the making of the liqueur First, the four alcoholates This the original color This is the original alcoholate Do you guess which ingredient gives this color to the alcoholates? -Um -It’s one of the first two -Black tea -Yes Black tea -I win! -And from the distillation, you obtain a very pure transparent alcoholate When we make all the alcoholates, we have to mix all together We have a very large cellars for the aging After aging, after the eight months, with the saffron infusion and the final Bénédictine with the shiny color -Is that the honey that’s been added then? -Yeah -If you compare the color, after the filtration, we obtain this shiny color -Clarity There’s clarity in that one -Yes -Not cloudiness It is a balance of sweet It’s a balance of herbal notes, a kiss of spice And I want to drink it -We could drink together upstairs We have three different kinds of Bénédictine The first one — the original Bénédictine with the red seal and the white label This is the original Bénédictine from the 19th century -It coats your mouth, but it’s not heavy -No -And you get a long slightly alcoholic finish The lingering aromatic quality is intense -So, this is B&B -Mm-hmm. The famous B&B -The famous B&B -Bénédictine and Brandy -It was created in 1937 especially for the American market 60% of Bénédictine and 40% of Brandy -Stronger Richer Definitely more alcoholic kick Obviously But you still get that honeyed, sumptuous, succulent character Santé -Santé ♪♪ -After all of this drinking, exploring, and eating, a regular ritual here — Lisa and David threw me a bon voyage party -Cheers -Cheers -Cheers -I mean, this is the Norman way of life — sharing the four C’s and, oh, so much more with family and friends ♪♪ Normandy is a special place The rustic richness of its cuisine and its history is balanced by the countryside’s scenic and ethereal beauty It’s this intense color palette of blue water and white cliffs and red apples and green fields It just leaves a lasting impression Now, I’ve been lucky enough to be coming here for decades, and I feel like a warm blanket envelops me every time I come

Now, a part of that, obviously, is my sister and my family, but the other part is pure Normandy A visit here is something you’ll never forget Santé “100 Days, Drinks, Dishes and Destinations” is brought to you by -With AmaWaterways, guests can climb, pedal, and journey beyond the beaten path while cruising on storied rivers across Europe You can find out more at amawaterways.com -When I picture my dad, Josh, I remember his hands — strong, they were worn, stained That was years of hard work as a lumberjack His commitment, work ethic, values, that’s what really inspired me to create Josh Cellars -Otherworldly and down-to-earth Visit Napa Valley -For more information on all episodes along with our expanded digital series, including behind-the-scenes footage and stories and links to follow me on Facebook and Instagram, go to 100DaysDrinksDishesDestinations com -♪ There were never such devoted sisters ♪ ♪ Never had to have a chaperone, no, sir ♪ -[ Speaking French ] -My mouth is stuck I can actually — ♪♪ [ Groaning ] Don’t eat an unripe pear! -Oh, my gosh -It’s really good for your shoulders, actually [ Laughter ] -I thought it was hair I thought it was a wig, maybe -Oh! ♪♪ ♪♪