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When it comes to French cooking, the Provence region is widely considered the best place to live if you are a foodie. The cuisine there is filled with flavor and tangy sensations, that almost seem to infuse its juices with the feeling of summer.
Now, we can’t all move to the south of France, but we can bring a bit of it to us. With a few traditional recipes from Provence that is!
Beyond the scenery of this part of the south of France, one of the things that draw visitors is the classic provençale food. The cuisine from this part of the world can be traced back to the ancient civilisations all along the Mediterranean.
Over the centuries, this area has seen a strong presence of the Greeks, the Romans and the Maghreb from North Africa influencing today’s provençale french cuisine to feature plenty of olive oil, garlic, and aromatic herbs from the classic French pantry.
Now there is a bit of confusion over what exactly is Provençale, (I admit I got confused as well!) When we think of Provence and Côte d’Azur (aka the French Riviera), we tend to think of two different things. One conjures up ideas of lavender fields and the other sun-filled boardwalks along the sea.
There is a reason for this, Provence and Côte d’Azur used to be two different regions in France.
However since 1960, this has all been turned into one region called Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur or Région PACA if you want to sound like a hip local. With Avignon and Marseille on one side, and Nice and St. Tropez on the other, this large southern region includes it all.
And with that, there are a lot of french provençale recipes that you can try at home, that are quite easy to make. My husband’s family is from Provence so I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time there tasting, testing, and noting my favorites.
And we shouldn’t forget about the wine. While the Côtes du Rhône and Côtes de Provence are not the most prestigious of the French wine regions, there is some good wine coming from this area.
Whether you’re into the classics, or looking for more interesting options, I’ve put together my list of favorite provençale foods, along with some popular wine and apéritif suggestions for each dish. Bon appétit!
Table Of Contents
A. Appetizers and Starters
The best appetizers and starters from Provence, that are quick and easy to make.
Bouillabaisse is a traditional stew originating from the port city of Marseille. It was originally a stew made by fishermen, using the bony rockfish from the bottom of their fishing nets, which they were unable to sell to restaurants or fish markets.
These days this delicate fish stew is considered haute cuisine. Adapted for the instant pot, we use whitefish and shell fish to remake this recipe for modern times.