Provence - The best food from Southern France
Provence has its share of Michelin-starred chefs, but great food is by no means the preserve of the rich. The true cuisine is rustic: soupe au pistou, rabbit, brandade (salt cod), sweetbreads, pig's feet, tripe, and stews made from beef, wild boar (sanglier), or bull (taureau) have their roots in peasant cooking.
Meals often begin with pastis, an anise-flavored liquor diluted with water. The aperitif is served with olives or with inky tapenade, a spread of anchovies and black olives. Then come the vegetable tarts, pizzas, simply prepared Mediterranean and Alpine fish, and soups — especially aigo-boulido (garlic), fish soup, and pistou, a hearty vegetable soup flavoured with basil and garlic — that have won Provence admirers around the world.
Cooking styles depend on the season. In winter, locals favour slow-cooked stews and roasts and cook in the fireplace. In summer, meats and vegetables are wood-grilled, with grapevine cuttings or rosemary branches tossed onto the fire. Red-wine reductions and seasoned herb butters let the flavours of the fresh ingredients.
Provence seems like one great vineyard, and every region has its own wines (Les Coteaux des Baux, Côtes du Luberon, etc.). The Southern Rhône is home to some of the finest wines in the world, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueras, and Gigondas, along with the lesser-known Tavel and Lirac. East of Orange you'll find fortified wines such as Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise.
If you ask somebody to define Provence it does seem like everyone's got an opinion. It has six distinct departments: the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Vaucluse, the Var, the Alpes de Haute-Provence, the Hautes-Alpes, and the Alpes-Maritimes. Within each department are specific regions: The Vaucluse has the Luberon, for instance.
Everywhere you go, you can experience food and wine at its source. The Provence’s people are truly blessed by the flavour and freshness of their sun-drenched cuisine.
To sample this excellent cuisine visit one of the many villas in Provence. Please go to James Villa Holidays for a wide selection of Provence Villas.
About the Author: To sample this excellent cuisine visit one of the many villas in Provence. Please go to James Villa Holidays for a wide selection of Provence Villas.