Book Review: Calvados

July 6, 2012

While getting ready for my trip to Normandy this summer, I found the book Calvados: Guide to the Region and the Apple Brandy by Henrik Mattsson. Published in 2010, it is only really available electronically for about $5. The only way to get a book was to buy a signed version for about 40 Euros, which is about $50 (free shipping world wide).

Calvados is apple cider that has been distilled into brandy, but only in certain region contained mostly in Normandy, France. The book has an introduction, history of calvados, explanation of the terroir and appellations, making, ageing, tasting, an extensive chapter on gastronomy completed with drinks and cooking recipes, 51 pages of producers, a visiting quick guide, and a glossary.

I find this book is informative and fascinating, explaining why calvados is an industry in Normandy, how they construct the orchards, make cider, distill into calvados, and much much more. Thing about this book was that it could have been an excellent guide book with all the French words and translations, signs and label expectations, and a grand list of producers. However, I feel that in order to be a good guide book, I have to have the ability to flip through it, and an ebook reader just doesn’t allow for that. However, $5 is a steal of a deal, and for that it is worth is. Before leaving for Normandy, I did go through the entire book and find all the French words he used to make my own translation guide, and I’m hoping that the rumors are true that the Tours Information will have English booklets on the Cidre Route, otherwise I will be attempting to “flip” though the eBook to find a producer we come across.

Mattson’s website also has a tasting sheet for calvados.

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3 Responses to “Book Review: Calvados”


  1. […] this price point, the first place we came to that sold cider was a shop that specialized in cider, calvados, and caramels, and we ended up buying a €7 bottle after having a sample. Rip off. The grocery […]


  2. […] in the 18th Century. Some of the barrels were oval shaped, which Henrik Mattsson wrote in his book Calvados: Guide to the Region and the Apple Brandy was to avoid taxes. It is harder to know the exact amount of calvados was in an oval barrel, and […]


  3. […] Consider reading Calvados: Guide to the Region and the Apple Brandy.  […]


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