Home to calvados, cider, and Camembert, this charming little corner of France once welcomed in the country’s renegade Impressionists and still holds some secrets—if you know where to look.
Populated with apple orchards, calvados-swilling locals, and many a wheel of Camembert, Normandy is impossibly bucolic. Like something out of an Impressionist painting, this northwest corner of France was, indeed, ground zero for painters like Monet, Courbet, and Renoir in the movement’s heyday. Today, handmade Camembert and small-batch cider is rarer than in the 19th century, but glimpses of Normandy’s heritage can still be found—provided you’ve got an expert guide. Here’s our cheat sheet to the region’s treasures, breakfast pudding to wild mushrooms. And to dig deeper, read our full feature on how apples rule Norman cuisine.