This month, we ex­plore the rich dishes and tasty del­i­ca­cies of this fer­tile region

Living France - - À LA MAISON -

Cham­pagne is syn­ony­mous with its cel­e­bra­tory bub­bles, but this fer­tile land is also proud of its rich meaty dishes, sweet treats and fine cheeses.

Pork ap­pears reg­u­larly on the menu here: the his­toric town of Troyes is known for an­douil­lette – a large of­fal sausage served hot and cold; Reims is known for its fine ham and St-Mene­hould is fa­mous for serv­ing up pigs’ trot­ters. Smoked ham and sausage ap­pear in the potée cham­p­enoise, a pop­u­lar hearty stew at har­vest time, of­ten served with cab­bage.

As for crops, as well as wheat and sugar beet, the fer­tile lands of Cham­pagne are known for as­para­gus, round turnips and small pink lentils ( lentil­lons rosés).

In the Pays d’Othe region, some­times called Lit­tle Nor­mandy, ap­ple or­chards still pro­duce fruit for mak­ing sparkling cider.

For those with a sweeter tooth, Reims is fa­mous for its bis­cuits roses (pink fin­ger bis­cuits) and other sweet del­i­ca­cies worth try­ing are masse­pains (marzi­pan); pain d’épice (spiced sweet bread); and non­nettes (spiced buns).

Cham­pagne is proud of its cheese se­lec­tion. The most fa­mous is the AOCdes­ig­nated Brie de Meaux. Also on of­fer are Chaource, Evry-le-Châ­tel and the ash­coated Cen­dré de la Cham­pagne, as well as the AOC-des­ig­nated soft Lan­gres cheese.

This fer­tile land is proud of its rich meaty dishes, sweet treats and fine cheeses

ON THE MENU NEXT MONTH... ... GREEN TOMATO AND SOR­REL SOUP We share the recipe for this de­li­ciously re­fresh­ing cold soup.

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