Parts of Normandy consist of rolling countryside typified by pasture for dairy cattle and apple orchards. A wide range of dairy products are produced and exported. Norman cheeses include Camembert, Livarot, Pont l'Evêque, Brillat-Savarin, Neufchâtel, Petit Suisse and Boursin. Its butter and cream are lavishly used in gastronomic specialties. Fish and seafood are of superior quality in Normandy – turbot and oysters from the Cotentin peninsula are major delicacies throughout France.
This is a major cider-producing area. Perry (a pear brandy) is also produced, but in less significant quantities. Apple brandy, of which the most famous variety is calvados, is also popular. The mealtime “trou normand”, or Norman break, is a pause between meal courses in which diners partake of a glassful of calvados, and is still observed in many homes and restaurants. Apples are also used in cooking: for example, “moules à la normande” are mussels cooked with apples and cream, “bourdelots” are apples baked in pastry, partridges are flamed with reinette apples, and localities all over the province have their own variation of apple tart.
Other regional specialities include “tripes à la mode de Caen”, “andouilles” and “andouillettes”, salt meadow (pré salé) lamb, seafood (mussels, scallops, lobsters, mackerel…), and “teurgoule” (spiced rice pudding). Normandy dishes include duckling “à la rouennaise”, sautéed chicken “yvetois”, and goose “en daube”. Rabbit is cooked with morels, or à la havraise (stuffed with truffled pigs' trotters). Other dishes are casseroled veal, larded calf's liver braised with carrots, and veal (or turkey) in cream and mushrooms. Normandy is also noted for its pastries – it is the birthplace of brioches (especially those from Évreux and Gisors) and also turns out “douillons” (pears baked in pastry), “craquelins”, “roulettes” in Rouen, “fouaces” in Caen, “fallues” in Lisieux. Confectionery of the region includes Rouen apple sugar, Isigny caramels, Bayeux mint chews, Falaise berlingots, Le Havre marzipans, Argentan “croquettes”, and Rouen macaroons. The region boasts a number of excellent restaurants and has a total of 28 Michelin stars.