Local products and crafts

Discover the emblematic products of la Manche
Photo, © Alice Bertrand

With oysters, mussels, scallops, dairy products, cider, knitwear, kitchenware, and much more, there are plenty of specialities to choose from in the Manche. Combining authenticity, age-old practices and innovation, the producers of the Manche reveal the treasures of the territory. They transmit their passion and their unique know-how from generation to generation. Prepare to immerse yourself in the products and crafts of the Manche.

From the land 

The rich farmland of la Manche is ideal for lots of different crops and livestock. Apples and their products, dairy products, vegetables: we take a look at the specialities for which the Manche is renowned.

Cider products:

Emblematic of Normandy, apples are used to make different products, including cider, pommeau and calvados.

Normandy is the top cider apple producing region in France. La Manche has two protected designations of origin for its cider: the PGI Cidre de Normandie/Cidre Normand and the PDO Cidre Cotentin. The apples are harvested in autumn and the production of cider marks the seasons.

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Various products are derived from cider. One is calvados, a local brandy that’s aged in oak casks for at least two years. Another is pommeau, an apéritif drink that’s well-known in Normandy, made from a mixture of cider and calvados. A number of cocktails are also made using cider, including cider mojitos, shaker cocktails and Normandy planter’s punch. Raise a glass to la Manche!

Cider houses to visit : 

Dairy products:

Normandy is famous for its butter, milk, camembert and cream, but there are lots of other less well-known but equally delicious regional products.

Renowned for many years for its agricultural importance, Normandy is the French region that produces the most cream and butter, providing 30% of total national output.

Normandy and la Manche hold the protected designation of origin for Isigny butter and cream. These are produced using cow’s milk from the Bessin area and the Cotentin Peninsula.

Lots of products that use cow’s milk are made in la Manche. These include camembert, the most famous of Normandy’s specialities, but also the well-known Mont-Blanc cream desserts. Farms such as the Cara-Meuh farm are innovating and proposing recipes using dairy products, including caramels and cheeses (the “Meuhle” and the “Comfiné”).

Photo, © Aymeric Picot

La Manche is also well-known for its market gardening. Stroll around the market stalls and fill your basket with fruit and vegetables grown locally.


From the sea

Thanks to its geographical situation and its vast coastline, la Manche is bursting with treasures. The fishermen work daily to bring the local fishmongers the best the sea here has to offer, including lobster, whelks, scallops and salmon. The shellfish farmers produce high quality oysters, mussels and other delicacies. Discover all the delicious seafood of la Manche.

Photo, © Captain Yvon


With its 674 km of coastline, la Manche is the perfect place for oyster farming. Normandy is the region that produces the most oysters in France. Normandy oysters are about to obtain a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), a label that guarantees the quality of the oysters and recognises the work of the oyster farmers.Where to eat oysters?

Every year, 15 200 tonnes of oysters are harvested from the oyster beds in la Manche. The department has three main production basins. On the west coast, the oyster beds cover the bay of Granville, Agon-Coutainville, Blainville-sur-Mer, Gouville and Portbail. There are also oyster beds in Chausey. Several oyster farms propose tours to enable visitors to find out all about this type of aquaculture : 


La Manche is renowned for its mussel farming, and Normandy is the region that produces the most mussels in France.

There are two types of mussels in la Manche: “bouchot” mussels, which are grown on wooden poles, and wild mussels. The colour of their shells is different, and wild mussels have more ivory-coloured interiors. If you enjoy shellfish gathering, why not head to the beaches to collect some mussels?

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Where to eat moules-frites? Here are some top spots to try the perfect summer treat.

There’s no shortage of restaurants serving up delicious moules-frites for you to enjoy. And in summer, lots of beach shacks (“paillotes”) open their doors for you to chill out with a sea view.

Photo, © Alice Bertrand


In la Manche, the Chausey Islands are reputed for this famous crustacean with its delicious meat. Lobsters like the rocky seabed in the area, and in the Cotentin Peninsula you’ll undoubtedly come across fishermen in Barneville-Carteret, Omonville-la-Rogue and Ravenoville. In 2011, lobster fishing was awarded the “Pêche Durable MSC” label for sustainable practices. It uses lobster pots and is strictly regulated. Depending on the season, this treasure of the sea is regularly served up in the restaurants of the Manche.


Granville whelks have been PGI certified (Protected Geographical Indication) since 2019, recognising the quality and excellence of the Manche. Except in January, whelks are gathered all year round, but the high season is from March to July and in December. In la Manche, whelks are one of the must-haves in any seafood platter!

Photo, © Estelle Hertault


A popular delicacy for festive feasts, scallops are one of the iconic products of la Manche. They have been awarded two Label Rouge (red label) quality marks: La Coquille Saint-Jacques Fraîche et Entière in 2002, and La Noix de Coquille Saint-Jacques in 2009. This distinction confirms the superior quality of Normandy scallops. Label Rouge scallops are harvested on the east coast of la Manche.

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Cherbourg salmon

The only sea salmon farm in France was set up in Cherbourg harbour in 1991. Cherbourg salmon, under the appellation “Saumon de France”, is the only salmon in France to be farmed at sea. The strong currents in the harbour are perfect for this type of aquaculture. The salmon is rope hung and smoked traditionally over beechwood, which guarantees its high quality. Saumon de France is committed to an ethical approach in which animal well-being is central.

Photo, © Saumon de France

The emblematic crafts of la Manche

The identity of a department is also forged by its know-how. Copperware, knitwear and umbrellas are all made in la Manche, which excels in these crafts. Between age-old practices and innovation, find out all about these craft trades for which la Manche is renowned.

Villedieu, the town of copper and metal

Villedieu has a long history of copperwork, dating back to the Middle Ages. This charming little town has received the “Ville et Métiers d'Art” (arts and crafts town) label.

  • The Cornille Havard workshop is reputed for its bell foundry: around 100 bells are produced every year.
  • “L’Atelier du Cuivre” is one of the oldest copper workshops still operating in Villedieu. The smiths there work all types of metal to create unique objects: kitchenware, bespoke pieces, ornaments, and much more.
  • In Villedieu, you’ll also find the Mauviel factory, which was set up in 1830. An expert in the production of kitchenware, Mauviel now exports its products all over the world. Its famous pans are used by top chefs in France and abroad.

Villedieu, the town of copper

Photo, © Captain Yvon


In la Manche, the knitwear tradition dates back to medieval times. The wool from the saltmarsh sheep was well suited to the production of knitwear and hats. Traditionally, these were used by sailors to brave the changeable weather and the spring tides. Today, several companies in la Manche perpetuate this activity. Two of them, Tricots Saint-James and Tricoterie du Val-de-Saire, have been awarded the “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (living heritage company) label, recognising their long-standing expertise.

Cherbourg umbrella

The Yvon leather factory was set up in the 1800s in Cherbourg. Since then, its famous umbrellas have been manufactured on site and are hand-made according to the company’s excellence and expertise. The different models combine quality and authenticity and reflect French elegance. The brand is exported all over the world and used by prestigious clients such as the Elysée Palace.

The high quality of the products and the expertise involved in the production of these umbrellas have won several awards, including the INPI Trophy, the Made in France prize, and the Qualité Tourisme label. The factory has also received the “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (living heritage company) label.

Photo, © Pierre-Yves Le Meur

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