5 Foods to Try in Provence – France
Of all the beautiful places to visit in France, Provence is perhaps among the most exquisite. Its perfect combination of old-fashioned cities, historical benchmarks, breathtaking landscapes and delightful weather make this charming region a top destination for travelers. One of Provence’s many pleasures is the delectable cuisine enjoyed there. Here are five delicious foods you must try when visiting Provence.
This traditional dish is a hearty stew made with a selection of seafood items like fish and shellfish, and complimented with a stock made from fresh vegetables and wine and a variety of herbs and spices like garlic and saffron. The dish originated in the city of Marseille and is traditionally served separated, with the broth in a bowl accompanied by bread and the seafood and vegetables in a separate bowl or on a platter. What makes this dish so unique and delicious is the magnificent blend of Provençal herbs and spices used in its preparation.
Another hearty stew, this entrée is made with a large selection of fresh vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, onions, tomatoes and red and green peppers. The veggies are cooked with a mouthwatering blend of olive oil, garlic and thyme. It’s sweet and chunky and a favorite all along the Mediterranean coast. The beauty of ratatouille is its versatility. It can be served either hot or cold, and can either be eaten as a main course or a side dish. It often accompanies grilled chicken or fish, and is frequently enjoyed with fresh bread.
While not an actual entrée, this traditional fare is worth mentioning because it is one of the most popular sauces in the Provençal region and used in a variety of different dishes served there. Aïoli is made of crushed garlic and olive oil and typically served with boiled vegetables, boiled fish and boiled eggs. Although Aïoli is quite popular and used in many different countries, alongside and within a wide variety of dishes and entrees, it originated in Provence. In fact, its name, aioli, comes from the Provençal ‘alh’, meaning garlic, and ‘òli’, meaning oil. If you’re going to try Aïoli anywhere, it should be in Provence, right where it all began.
Soup au Pistou
A delicious soup served primarily in the summer, this is made up of hearty vegetables like tomatoes, summer squash, potatoes, white beans and green beans and also typically contains spaghetti, rice or noodles. The vegetables may be omitted or replaced, but for the soup to remain authentic, any vegetables used must be summer vegetables. The soup is infused with pistou, a flavorful sauce made from fresh basil, olive oil and cloves of garlic. Obviously because of its seasonal nature, this dish may not be as easy to come by during certain times of the year, but if you can get your hands on some, you’ll know why it made the list.
This delectable condiment is made of eggplant, garlic and a variety of other spices and is easily considered a delicacy in Provence. In preparation, the eggplant is sliced, brushed with olive oil and baked. It’s then placed in a food processor along with the other ingredients and blended until it becomes a smooth spread. Traditionally served with bread, if you like eggplant this is a must-try food while visiting Provence.
The region of Provence is truly one of France’s gems. Visitors can enjoy long, sunny days spent perusing museums, shopping, relaxing amidst the quaint villages or experiencing the exciting nightlife of the area. But a visit to Provence wouldn’t be the same without sampling some of the region’s most delicious food, particularly the mouthwatering selections listed here. These dishes embody the Provençal culture and traditions, and provide one of the best ways to truly experience this beautiful French region.