Calvados, a traditional and gourmet alcohol!
Calvados is a very special alcohol, cider distilled according to very specific criteria in a specific region to produce a spirit with unique characteristics: very present apple notes and a beautiful aromatic complexity coming from the assembly of dozens of varieties of apples and slow ageing in oak barrels. This alcohol, whose creation is traced back to before the 17th century, is the source of many traditions in its region, the beautiful Normandy.
The development of consumption of Calvados in the late nineteenth century, early twentieth S., has generated many traditions of consumption, which punctuate the lives of the Normans, but also their daily lives:
- On the day of baptism, a spoon of Calvados is given to the newborn to kill the worms.
- Nannies frequently put Calvados in babies’ milk to strengthen them.
- The “duck” is a little greed, for children or sweet beaks: it consists of dipping a piece of sugar in Calvados, to eat it immediately, well soaked and perfumed.
- The “coffee-calva” in the nineteenth and twentieth century, it was customary for workers and farmers to add a dash of Calvados to their morning coffee, in order to warm up and find the energy needed to spend the day at the restaurant. outside, often in the cold and difficult conditions. This “coffee-calva” is much criticized because it represented in the twentieth century, the alcoholism of a poor social class. Fortunately, today, this tradition has given way to excellent cocktails and gourmet liqueurs.
- The famous “trou normand”: In the 19th century, the “Trou Normand” officially found its place during meals: a small glass of Calvados drunk in the middle the gargantuan banquets. Gustave Flaubert in “Bouvard and Pécuchet” for example refers to this widespread use in 1881. The tradition is that the master of the house invites his guests to lift their glass half full of Calvados to smell it and then the to drink it dry. Today, the tradition has given way to an apple sorbet served with Calvados in the middle of the meal.
Every family from Normandy still has its own traditions, often combining the gourmet products and generosity of Normandy products, for example: Calvados tarte tatin and its farmhouse cream, Camembert flambé with Calvados …
And you ? Do you know other Norman traditions? We would love to know them!