Calvados


One of my favorite composers, Erik Satie, was born in Honfleur, a little seaside town in Basse-Normandie. Normans love their seafood, and their apples. From the apples, they make a liqueur called Calvados. Here is some information on Calvados:

In Normandy, locals rely on apple brandy as a digestive. Le trou Normand, or the Norman break, is a fiery shot of Calvados right in the middle of the meal. It hits hard and fast, yet is inexplicably effective as a palate-cleanser and appetite stimulant. It’s yet to be determined whether it has as successful an astringent property on one’s palate as it has on one’s wits – but either way, it works.

 

 

 

 

We saw bottles of shockingly expensive Calvados everywhere we went in Normandy. Finally I bought a nice bottle in the duty-free shop at De Gaulle Airport, just as we were leaving the country, for a maidenly sixteen euro.

At a recent gathering of Partner’s family, we opened the bottle and shared the experience.

A few loved it. Partner’s sister Pearl took a tiny sip and poured the rest of her shot into my glass. Partner’s three nephews appeared to enjoy it very much.

As did I.

It’s fiery, but smooth.  It’s not the same as grappa (the Italian apple liqueur) at all. Grappa is thick and hot. Calvados is fierce, but sophisticated.

And, if you close your eyes as you drink it, you can see the apple orchards of Normandy.

Look for it in your local liquor store.


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About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

4 Responses to Calvados

  1. Clare says:

    Samuel Chamberlin had a great recipe in his French cookbook calling for chicken in calvados and cream. I used to make it every year, once a year.. But we ran out of Calvados, I ran out of husband, and the last time I tried to buy it, it was so expensive I chickened out. Wonder WHY it’s so expensive. It’s not made of an expensive commodity!!

    • It was atrociously expensive in Normandy. I was surprised to find it here, at a liquor store in Wayland Square; they even sell three different kinds, and I’m pretty sure it’s really cheaper here than it was in France.

  2. starproms says:

    I’ve never tried it but it sounds nice.

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