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Eating in Paris should be all about small, charming restaurants; exquisite chocolates; and bohemian bars — not the standard tourist nightmare of snarling waiters, seven-language menus, and bland food.

The fine folk of Normandy have a solution: the trou normand, or Norman break. In the midst of a decadent, endless-course meal (especially during holidays), les normands are known to take a pause with a small glass of the region’s aged apple-juice brandy, calvados. This supposedly helps to reset digestion and enables one to take …