Provençal cuisine is also called la cuisine du soleil, or the cuisine of the sun, a colourful cuisine rich in vegetables and fruit, seafood and traditional Mediterranean dishes characterised by a delicious mix of olive oil, garlic and herbs.
The Provençal table is a riot of aromas, scents and flavours of the terroir, of the territory, ranging from the sun-drenched olive groves of the countryside to the rice fields and grazing herds of Camargue, from the fishing boats of the coast to the truffles of the cooler plains.
Very fresh ingredients that follow the rhythm of the seasons and the natural cycles of the earth. In short, a healthy cuisine, full of charm but above all genuine that will delight even the most demanding.
Lamb is undoubtedly the most popular and appreciated meat, which comes from the fragrant pastures of Sisteron, but game with rabbits, hares and wild boar is also very present in Provençal cuisine.
Due to its coastal location, Provence is also home to fish and seafood, which are often grilled or mixed in hearty soups with white wine and tomato.
The wonderful markets of Provence are full of colourful and tasty fruit and vegetables. Vegetables also play a starring role in the cuisine you will find in restaurants and bistros, for example served raw accompanied byaïoli, garlic mayonnaise, or the numerous tapenades, anchovy, olive and caper pâtés.
Tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, aubergines, artichokes you will find cooked in all sorts of ways, often stuffed with meat, rice and herbs or sautéed with butter and lard.
Provence, unlike French pastry in general, does not like overly elaborate desserts. It prefers fresh fruit such as fragrant melons from Cavaillon, lemons from Menton or candied fruit from Apt.
Instead, you will find tasty tartes made with simple custard, berries and chestnut and lavender honey. Almonds and aniseed are also popular in sweet compounds.
This region of France has a very rich variety of wines, from robust reds to pleasant whites ideal for accompanying fish dishes. They may not be the most renowned in France but they are certainly excellent to pair with your tasting of Provençal cuisine.
Grenache grapes are particularly fragrant and are ideal to accompany fish.
The wines of the Côte du Rhone are particularly pleasant, still harvested strictly by hand: the winegrowers say that it is the galets, flat, smooth pebbles that cover the land, that give the grapes their distinctive body.
The best quality is undoubtedly the robust Châteauneuf-du-Pape, ideal for meat dishes or those of Bandol, with the intense aroma of the black mourvèdre grapes, which need a lot of sunshine to acquire their characteristic flavour.
The rosé wine in this region is not just a light aperitif wine, but a special quality, intense and full-bodied, capable of accompanying the strong flavours of Provençal cuisine, in which garlic abounds.
We particularly recommend the vin de sable from the Camargue, a vine that grows on the dunes and is fortified by the sun, wind and saltiness.
Travelling around Provence, you will discover that sipping a small glass before or after a meal is a local tradition and a real pleasure for those who are not in a hurry. Most of these products are flavoured with Provençal herbs, aromas and spices.