I love cows. They truly have it all: adorable faces, chill personalities, delicious dairy products, and glorious red meat. What other animal provides such a perfect combination of friend and food capabilities? To those who know me, my love of cows is very clear. My dorm room is decorated with pictures and postcards of cows from around the world, and so far on the trip I’ve already purchased a number of cards to add to this collection. If you asked my friends what my life motto is, I’m positive “butter makes it better” would be at the top of the list (alongside “fat equals flavor” and “if you haven’t had one or two weird diseases in your life, you’re not doing it right”). I drink my coffee with pure whipping cream instead of half-and-half, and I’ve been known to make some ungodly sounds over a good steak. I LOVE cows.
Travelling across the various regions of France, you’ll see each one touting its own “regional specialties”. The region of Normandy is known, among many things, as cow country, so as you can imagine, I was thrilled about the prospect of a visit. I began to get even more excited as we started to roll through the cow-dotted landscapes around Giverny and Caen.
There are many ways Normandy celebrates its bovine renown. Ordering a dish with “Normande” in the name off of a local menu will almost certainly guarantee you some delicious cream or cheese. Many restaurants and shops in the region specifically advertise their dairy products as locally made in Normandy (and not just in the region- a lot of the butter you find in French supermarkets also touts “fabrique en Normandie”). The two most memorable cow inspired dishes I had while there were a seared entrecôte, a cut of steak equivalent to a sirloin, and a “Galette Normande”, a buckwheat crepe featuring apples, cream, onions and emmental cheese. It’s safe to say that cow country did not disappoint.