Champagne Food


BriocheSo what's for breakfast?  Breakfast in a French hotel will seldom be a big deal.  Normally it will consist of  the basics, namely coffee or tea, bread and a croissant with butter, jam and fruit juice.  If you are lucky it might also include cornflakes, boiled eggs and fruit, all for around €12.  In large towns (like Reims), if you go to the local bar you should be able to get the basics as described above for €6 and still have €6 left in your pocket.  Outside of large towns stick to the hotel.
 
Breakfast in a B&B can be a better deal than in a hotel and is normally included.
 
Now that the most important meal of the day is out of the way, let's consider the rest:

Food

The savoury food that the locals are most proud of in Champagne-Ardenne includes:
  • Sauerkraut
  • Andouillette
  • Boudin blanc sausage
  • Pigs' trotters
  • Red lentils
  • Agneau grand cru (suckling lamb)
  • Red turkey
  • European crayfish
while sweet foods include:
  • Pink biscuits
  • Reims gingerbread
  • Coconut macaroons
  • Bouchons de Champagne (chocolate Champagne corks)

local cheeses include: 

  • Chaource, a soft cows' milk cheese with a fine white mould rind, a bit like an extra creamy Camembert.
  • Langres, a soft creamy cheese made from whole cows' milk with a washed rind, its pale yellow to reddish brown colour comes from the salted rubbing solution.
  • Rocroi is a soft cheese of skimmed cows' milk with a natural brown washed rind occasionally speckled with bluish mould.
  • Cendré de Champagne is a soft ivory coloured cheese made from un-pasteurized cows' milk with a rind matured in ash.
  • Brie de Meaux, a creamy Brie with a taste of hazelnuts and fruit.

Generally restaurant meals will be made up of

  • salad, soup or appetiser
  • meat or fish as a main course
  • a modest amount of potatoes, rice or pasta
  • a cheese course
  • puddings ranging from fruit tarts to cheesecakes, and of course crème brulée.
The menu of the day, often chalked on a board outside the restaurant is usually good value.  This will be available Monday to Friday 12:00 to 14:00 and you may be able to get three courses with a local wine for €13 or less. Vegetarian dishes are available nowadays (although vegetariansim is unusual in France) and in the better restaurants will be imaginative.  Elsewhere, you may have to subsist on cheese omelettes.
 
In the Champagne-Ardennes area you will find many menus translated into good English and many guide books have a good food section.  If you want more detailed translations then look at the book below.

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