fruits, grains and beans
Provence region includes the Rhône and Durance
valleyshighly fertile agricultural areas
which are considered to be the garden of France.
Commonly enjoyed vegetables include tomatoes,
eggplant (aubergine), bell peppers, garlic, onions,
lettuce, carrots, fennel, potatoes, mushrooms,
cabbage, zucchini (courgettes), artichokes
vegetables are traditionally added to bakes and
soups or appetizing stews such as ratatouille,
or eaten raw in salads (such as the mouthwatering
Niçoise) and as crudités.
is traditionally eaten as a snack and dessert.
Cherries, grapes, melons, berries, figs, dates,
lemons, oranges, pears and apples are some of
the most popular varieties.
is the most commonly eaten grain food in Provence
and is used to make a wide variety of breads including
crusty baguettes and whole grain loaves. A popular
Provençal sandwich is the pan
bagnat which is bread filled with tuna, tomatoes,
olives, peppers and steeped in an olive oil dressing.
Wheat flour is also used to make the base of the
Provençal pizza known as pissaladiere.
are enjoyed in a wide variety of dishes including
stews, bakes and soupssuch as soupe
au pistou, a bean and vegetable soup infused
with basil. Green beans are enjoyed in hot dishes
or are cooked and cooled and added to salads.
The most commonly enjoyed lentil is the Puy
lentil, which is a small, slightly peppery
lentil that retains its shape when cooked.
and olive oil
like other regions of the Mediterranean, has a
sun-blessed climate that makes it ideal for olive
growing. And like their Italian neighbors to the
east, the people of Provence rely heavily on olivesfor
food and as an oil.
oil is used for sautéing foods, and
is added to sauces, dressings, dips and marinades.
are scattered into hot dishes and salads, or are
eaten as a snack. Olives are also an essential
ingredient in tapenade,
a luscious Provençal paste made with olives,
olive oil, anchovies, capers and garlic which
is typically spread on bread or served with grilled
fish or chicken.
borders the Mediterranean sea, and fish and shellfish
are eaten in abundance. Commonly enjoyed fish
and shellfish include, tuna, sea bass, anchovies,
red snapper, red mullet, monkfish, shrimp, crab,
mussels, scallops and oysters.
fish and shellfish dishes include bouillabaisse
(a robust stew made with tomatoes, saffron and
several varieties of fish and shellfish, which
is typically eaten with toasted bread slices and
a flavorsome garlic-chili mayonnaise called rouille),
salad Niçoise (a vegetable, tuna
and anchovy salad) and fruits de mer (a
plate of fresh seafood accompanied with lemon
wedges for drizzling).
cheese, poultry and eggs
has traditionally been eaten sparingly throughout
Provence. When meat is eaten, it's typically sheep
or beef, and served in small amounts to add flavor
and texture to food.
is enjoyed regularlyusually slightly tart
chèvre (goat) cheese. Goat cheese can range
in texture from soft and creamy to dry and semi-firm.
is a popular addition to stews and bakes, and
eggs are enjoyed in omelets (such as the Provençal
omelet called a crespèus which usually
contains vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini and
mushrooms) or hard boiled and added to hot dishes
and dried herbs are used extensively in Provençal
cooking. A popular Provençal dried herb
blend is called Herbes de Provence, and typically
marjoram, savory, rosemary, sage and basil. These
herbs, and others such as parsley, are used together
or separately in a wide variety of dishes including
stews, bakes, soups and saladsor are simply
rubbed over fish, chicken or meat before grilling.
commonly used seasonings include saffron,
anchoïade (anchovy paste), aïoli (garlic
mayonnaise), capers, rouille (chili and garlic
mayonnaise), tapenade, wine
vinegar and lemon juice.