Normandy’s rich dairy produce from cows fed on lush pastures is very much in evidence in Orne.
The small farms around Vimoutiers on the borders with Calvados produce the famous Camembert - a buttery cheese with an aromatic edible chalky white rind - and excellent butter.
Follow the cheese route to sample cheese products which are also readily available at local restaurants.
Apple orchards supply fruit for desserts, like apple fritters and crepes, and to make the cider drunk here instead of wine, or distilled into Calvados (apple brandy). Calvados is sometimes offered as a digestif - ‘le trou Normand’ - between courses to counteract rich sauces
The people of the Perche region of Orne have always had a strong attachment to the land and the area’s small independent farmers have done much recently to promote their produce.
The baguette du Perche with its golden crust and wonderful perfume is made by bakers using traditional methods working in the Perche Regional Natural Park. Look for the official seal on loaves in boulangeries in villages such as Nogent-le-Rotrou, Belleme and Betoncelles.
Les Escargots du Perche in Preaux-du-Perche produces snails reputedly twice as large and more tender than Burgundy snails and sells snail terrine.
The Saturday market in Mortagne-au-Perche is great for sourcing local produce and the place to buy its famous boudin noir black sausages - traditionally eaten with apples cooked in butter. Boudin blanc (white) sausages are also on sale for those who are not fans of black pudding.