Teurgoule, a traditional Norman family dessert, is such a delicious rice pudding that literally melts in the mouth. It is made of rice cooked in milk with some sugar and a pinch of cinnamon for at least five hours in a pot specially designed for this purpose. In the end, after several hours of cooking, teurgoule will have a caramelized crust, and the grains of rice will completely melt. In Normandy, there is even a joke about this dish: it takes five hours to prepare it, only five minutes to eat it and five days to clean it. But still, it is so delicious that it is worth every effort.
At the end of the eighteenth century, François-Jean Orceau, a French officer and baron of Fontette, brought to Normandy some rice from overseas. But nobody knew how to prepare this cereal, which was until then completely unknown in this region. So, he decided to write down a few recipes. One of them was teurgoule. But, what does teurgoule mean exactly? Well, according to some stories, the name teurgoule comes from a Norman language and means - “twist mouth”. Apparently, this rice pudding was so delicious that people were in a hurry to taste it, while it was still very hot. Another hypothesis, which is probably more accurate, is that teurgoule comes from a Breton word "tourgouilh" meaning "fat milk".
To prepare the perfect teurgoule, you will need some milk, rounded rice, sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Rounded rice, sugar and cinnamon are mixed in the pot, and then the boiled milk is poured over them. The mixture should be put in an oven on a very low temperature and then cooked for some five hours. At the end of the cooking, teurgoule will have a beautiful, caramelized crust that some people just adore and others remove before eating. You can cook it shorter if you prefer your rice pudding less consistent and your rice less soft. In any case, it should be eaten warm so that the cinnamon can exalt all its perfume. Teurgoule is a dessert that goes perfectly with a glass of cold cider, and another regional traditional family dish, a succulent brioche named fallue.
If you are not patient enough to make teurgoule, a traditional Norman family dessert at home, the best way to taste this delicious rice pudding is to visit any open-air market in Normandy. You can easily find and taste teurgoule every Friday at the Saint-Saveaur Market in Caen. Here, you can even buy teurgoule that won the Golden Teurgoule, an award assigned by the Association of Gastronomes of the Teurgoule of Normandy. The association organizes every year in October a national contest for the best teurgoule, open to professionals but also amateurs and youngsters from 7 to 14 years old.
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