Provençale cuisine alone, with its symphony of colours, scents and flavours, is reason enough to visit.
Colourful vegetables, olives, olive oil, anchovies, seasoning, herbs and spices are always central ingredients of any dish, finding their way into ratatouille, tapenade, rouille, aïoli (garlic mayonnaise), pistou soup and Niçoise salad. Meat and pork specialities (lamb chops, rabbit 'à la provençale', stuffed meat) and, of course, fish specialities (bouillabaisse, bourride [Mediterranean seafood stew]) have also become essential elements in the Provencal way of life.
There is room on the menu for desserts to, with all the honeys and jams from the mountains, 'calissons' from Aix (almond and marzipan sweets), candied fruit from Apt, 'câlins' (almond sweets) from Saint-Tropez and Saint-Tropez tart, etc. Then there is the famous pastis (an alcoholic aniseed-flavoured drink) and prestigious wines (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes-de-Provence, Rasteau, Bandol, etc.), which are to be consumed in moderation, of course.
Without this basic ingredient, Provençal cuisine would not be as we know it!© Dulezidar / iStock
They stretch over 125 miles from the Alpilles to the Esterel Massif.© GRAPHICOBSESSION
You'll find all sorts of fish on the market stalls and in the restaurants.© Leung Cho Pan / 123RF
In the restaurants, don't be taken for a ride; the fish soup should contain rockfish (conger, scorpion fish, rouquier, rainbow wrasse, etc.).© Proformabooks / iStock
A recipe from grandmother's cookbook that should be left to simmer for hours.© Foodandmore / 123RF