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