Provincial French Quiz Notes
March 30, 2003

Normandy and Brittany

ABCs of Brittany/Normandy: Apples, Butter, Cream Cheese and Camembert.

Three Cs of Brittany/Normandy: Cider, Calvados, Camembert.

Specialties of Brittany/Normandy: Omelette à la Normande (apples, Calvados, cream), crêpes (buckwheat), tripe, Pre-sales mutton (sheep raised salt marsh grasses), boudin noir (blood sausage).


Most Important Influences of Norman Cuisine: Butter, Apples, Seafood.

Area: Cows, cheese, andouille, sheep, cider, Calvados, apples.

Cheeses of Normandy

Camembert: Number one of cheese of the area. Soft, uncooked cheese. White washed rind with no cracks. Gives slightly when pressed. Pale yellow in color. Soft, not runny. Clean, light, fruity smell. Too old = hard and white line in center. Smell and taste of ammonia. Only order October - June.

Pont l'Evêque: Second most important cheese in Normandy. Golden yellow, tan rind, rich and tangy. Sold after three to four months of ripening. Best in spring.

Livarot: Third most important cheese in Normandy. Oldest of all the Norman cheeses. Golden, red mold cheese. Stinky. Made from a mixture of skimmed and whole milk. Has hay in it. Round. Best in autumn or winter. Avoid if sunken in the middle. Is aged.

Neufchâtel: Soft cream cheese. Shaped like a heart for WWII soldiers after D-Day. Sour flavor. Cylindrical shape is most common. Named for the village in which it is made.

Gervais: Sugared cream cheese used as dessert. Yogurt and sour cream taste.

Matelote à la Normande: A salt water fish stew made with cider, butter and cream.

Canarde à la Rouenaise: Special presentation of duck where the duck is hung upside down to allow all the blood to fill the breast. Breast is served very red.


Area: Coastline, uses butter on bread (the rest of France doesn't), crêpes, Muscadet, fish, lobsters, oysters.

Huîtres: Oysters. Two main oysters from the area -- Belon: Smooth, flat shell, firm, white flesh; Portugaise: Rough shell, green flesh. Oysters should be opened an hour before you eat them.

à la Bretonne: Connotes use of white beans or white bean puree as an accompaniment.

Crêpes: Used extensively in Breton cooking. Sometimes made with buckwheat flour.

Cotriade: White fish and potato stew based on a panade.

Touraine, Loire, Anjou, Berry, Poitou, Orlèans, Ile de France

Area: "The Heartland" or "The Garden" of France. Influence was part of the Haute Cuisine in France. Chateau country. The purest French language is spoken here. This is the only area of France that has been historically French.

Products: Gardens, herbs, flowers. Lots of game and hunting. Mushroom cultivation in limestone caves. Raise goats not cows. Wines are Sancerre, Vouvray, and Muscadet. Fertile land = produce.

Regional Specialties: Sang de Poulet aux Oignons, Coq au Vin, 100 different kinds of wines (2/3 are white), goat cheese, charcuterie (pork products, pâté, sausages, terrine, boudin blanc (chicken sausage), rillettes).


Cernaux: Green walnuts steeped in the juice of green grapes with chopped chervil.

Fouaces: Coarse bun, unleavened biscuit used as an aid in drinking large quantities of wine.

Beurre Blanc: Emulsified butter sauce. Premier sauce of the region.

Rillettes: Finely shredded pork cooked in lard and eaten cold with bread. Made only with hog's neck and a careful mixture of fat and lean pieces.

Boudin Blanc: Sausage made with chicken breast.

Coq au Vin: Chicken usually made with Chinon (red wine), mushrooms and pearl onions.

Belles de Louvre: Green asparagus.

Champignon de Paris: Tiny button mushrooms grown in lime caves along the Loire. 3/4 of France's mushrooms come from this region.

Fricassée: White meat that is floured, lightly salted, and sauteed in butter. Not allowed to brown. Served with button mushrooms and onions -- everything on the plate is white.

Sang de Poulet aux Oignons: Medieval times, a fricasée of chicken finished with chicken blood (a civet) and onions. Today, finished with lemon juice or vinegar.

Gros Damas: Finest prunes in France from Tours.

Tarte tatin: Inverted apple tart from Demoiselles Stephanie and Caroline Tatin.


Vinaigre de vin d'Orlèans: Pure wine vinegar. Best is made in Orlèans.

Pithiviers: Puff pastry with ground almond filling from the town of Pithivier in Orlèans.


Chouée: Green cabbage dish.

Chaudrée: Fish soup or stew. Caldron comes from this word.

Cheeses of the Region

Chevre: (Touraine) Goat cheese.

Cremets: (Anjou) Cream cheese eaten as a dessert with sugar. Can also be sprinkled with salt.

Wines of the Region


Pouilly-Fumé: A dry, white wine.

Rosé d'Anjou: Sweet, pink, velvety wine.

Sancerre: White, dry, fruity wine.

Saumur: Very, dry, light, white wine.


Vouvray: White wine from the north bank. Can be sparkling or mousseux. Made from Pinot grape (Chenin grape?).

Mount Louis: White wine from South bank. Secondary Vouvray.

Chinon: Red wine from South bank. Faint taste of raspberries.


Products/Ingredients: Fois gras, black truffles, confit, cèpes, walnuts, ducks, wine.

à la Bordelaise: 1. Red Bordeaux wine sauce with shallots; 2. Sauce based on a mirepoix and white wine; 3. An addition of cèpes; 4. A garnish of potatoes and artichokes.

Perigord Truffle: Black undeground fungus. Very perfumed, very expensive.

Foie Gras: Fattened goose or duck liver. The duck or goose has been forcefed (gavage). Six levels of fois gras. Entier, Foie Gras, Bloc de Fois Gras, Parfait de Fois Gras, Purée de Fois Gras, Foie.

Confit: Meat of pork, game, birds, rabbit. First it is salted and spiced for flavor, then it is cooked in the fat of the respective meat and preserved in the same fat.

Garbure: A kind of cabbage soup.

Cèpes: Wild mushrooms growing in the woods from August until November.

Gavage: The process of force-feeding geese or ducks. Corn-fed through a funnel.

Wines of the Area

Chateau: Wine estate of the area.

Mèdoc: Region of the greatest Bordeaux wines -- smooth, subtle, and mellow. Haute Mèdoc has Chateaux Lafite, Margaux, and Latour.

Graves: Second greatest region of Bordeaux.

Entre deux Mers: White wine area in Bordeaux. Region lies between two rivers, the Garonde and the Dordogne.

Sauternes: Sweet, heavy, rich, full-bodied white wine from rotted grapes. Dessert wine. Chateau d'Yquem is the best Sauternes.

Pourriture Noble: Noble rot. Grapes left to rot on the vine until their sugar becomes concentrated and their alcohol level rises to 14-15%.

Saint Emilion: Very heavy red wine, made mostly with the Merlot grape.

Pomerol, Fronsac, Pauillac: Lighter red Bordeaux wine. Lighter than St. Emilion.

Cognac: Emperor of eau de vie. A brandy made from the Charente grape. Double distilled. Aged in old limosin oak casks. Age equals the length of time in cask.

Cognac Vs. Armagnac

Cognac: Two separate distillations, blend of different wines, cured in old oak casks, 70% alcohol.

Armagnac: One continuous distillation, only uses white wine from Pinot noir grape, cured in new oak casks, 53% alcohol.


Ingredients: Mustard, beef (Charollais), wine, heavy cream.

Area in General: Hearty foods, soil good for wine grapes, rolling fields are ideal for cattle.

Area Specialties

Dijon: Mustard, gingerbread, currant products.

Lyons: Greatest gastronomic area in all of France.

Charollais: Beef. Cows are all white.

Auxerre: Cherries

Bresse: Blue-footed chickens.

à la Burguignonne: Pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon in a red wine sauce.

à la Dijonnais: With mustard.

à la Lyonnais: With onions.

Cassissines: Small, black, currant-flavored sweets from Dijon.

Pain d'Epice: Spice bread called Gâteau Ducal Gingerbread.

Galette: Bread of the region. Anything flat and round. Pressed cake, potatoes.

Gougère: Choux paste with lots of Gruyère.

Pets de Nonne: Beignets, deep-fried balls of batter. Also called "Nun's Farts."

Meurette: Red wine sauce, well-spiced, thickened with flour and butter and served with eggs, fish, or beef. Breaks the tradition of a red sauce being served only with red meat.

Sauce Nantua: Crayfish bèchamel sauce usually served with quenelles.

Poulet de Bresse: Blue-footed chicken that is cornfed. Best is in France from the Bresse area.

Cuisses de Grenouilles: Frog legs.

Ecrevisses: Crayfish. Part of Sauce Nantua.

Dijon Mustard: An ancient condiment. Dijon is the greatest mustard-making center in France and the world.

Boeuf à la Bourguignonne: Beef cooked in red wine sauce with pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon.

Escargots: Snails prepared with snail butter (shallots, garlic, parsley, butter, salt and white pepper).

Saupiquet: A highly seasoned cream sauce made with herbs, garlic, shallots, vinegar, and juniper. It is usually served with slices of Morvan Ham. Jambon à la crème made by Anthea.

Jambon Persille: Terrine of cooked chunks of ham with a parsley jelly of white wine.

Charollais Beef: One of the breeds of cattle in France raised for slaughter. Pure-white breed.


Comte: Cow's milk cheese from the Jura. Very fruity, Swiss or Gruyère type of cheese.

St. Florentin: A white, soft, cow's milk cheese.

Mont d'Or: Cow's milk cheese from Lyons.

Vacherin: Very creamy cow's milk cheese.

Morbier: A pressed cow's milk cheese from the mountains, very fruity. Ash layer.

Wines of the Area

Types: Earthy, substantial, and perfect with hearty food.

Grapes Used

Pinot for Burgundy reds, Gamay for Beaujolais, Chardonnay for Burgundy whites, Aligote for white Burgundy Aligote.

Wine Regions of Area

Yonne: Chablis (white)

Côte d'Or: Côte de Nuits (red), Côte de Beaune (red/white).

Chalone: Côte Chalonnaise (red/white), Côte Maconnaise (red/white).

Rhone: Beaujolais (red)

Brandies of the Area

Marc de Bourgogne: Distillation of residue of grapes.

Ratafia: Marc de Bourgogne and grape juice.

Liqueur from Burgundy

Crème de Cassis: Black currant liqueur.

Kir: White wine with Crème de Cassis. Aligote white is used.

Kir Royale: Champagne with Crème de Cassis.

Mineral Water of the Area: Vichy.

Gascony, Bèarn, Languedoc

Cassoulet: Means "casserole." White beans dish to which various meats (such as sausages, pork, and preserved duck or goose) are added, originated in Languedoc, the Pyrenees. The combination varies according to regional preference.

Beurre de Gascogne: Goose or duck fat mixed with lots of garlic.

Pipèrade: Tomatoes, peppers, chiles, and scrambled egg from the Basque Region.

Jambon de Bayonne: Cured, salted ham from Bayonne. Usually eaten raw sometimes used to flavor stews and sauces.

Garbure: This vegetable soup or stew is popular in Gascony and Bèarn. It has many variations but contains many vegetables and usually some meat such as bacon, ham, or confit. It is made in an earthenware pot with a glazed interior and is served over a thin slice of stale bread.

Brandade: Emulsion of salt cod, olive oil, cream, and garlic.

Roquefort: Blue cheese made from sheep's milk in Roquefort-Sur-Soulzan.

à la Basquiase: Garnish of cèpes, pommes Anna, and chopped Bayonne ham.

à la Languedocienne: Garnish of tomatoes, cèpes, eggplant and flavored with garlic.

Sauce Bèarnaise: Small sauce based on a hollandaise in which tarragon is added.


Perrier: Natural spring water from Languedoc.

Armagnac: Brandy made by continuous distillation of unmixed wines. Pinot grape is used.

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