The flavours of sunny Provence
May, 3 2022
The Provence is full of culinary surprises. Besides being a sunny camping destination, this region is also the place to enjoy the French love of food to the full. The Provence is rich in delicious seasonal and local products. It’s tempting to go to a campsite in sunny France this very day just to enjoy these Provencal specialities!
White nougat from Montélimar
White nougat from the north of the Provence. In Montélimar in particular, this confectionary is still made according to the original centuries-old recipe. It is almost impossible to miss. The delicious aroma wafts through the streets and this Provencal delicacy is creatively displayed in all the shop windows. A trip to Montélimar is definitely worth your while to taste the unique ‘Nougat de Montélimar’.
You have probably heard of this German blackcurrant liqueur before. But many people do not know that this delicious drink originally comes from the Provence. Cassis is made of blackberries and has become an indispensable ingredient in many popular cocktails. And what many people don’t realise either is it takes a lot of time to make cassis. The fruits only retain their full aromas for one day after ripening so they must be harvested and processed on that same day. The more care that is taken, the more intense the colour and flavour of the liqueur, and in that sense, the cassis from the Provence is unbeatable.
Pastis in the sun
Pastis is still the ultimate Southern French aperitif on a hot sunny day. As the locals themselves say: ‘Pastis par ciel bleu, pastis délicieux’ (pastis tastes even better under the blue sky). Even as a child, I was impressed by this cloudy holiday drink that my father drank. Nowadays, I order this drink during every camping holiday in the South of France – even if just for the nostalgia. Pastis is an aperitif based on star anise, liquorice and herb extracts, with an alcohol percentage between 40% to 45%. This drink is diluted with water, which gives it its characteristic cloudiness.
Since the eponymous film, everyone knows what ratatouille is and how to pronounce the word. Nowadays, this traditional vegetable stew is considered a dish from France, while strictly speaking it comes from the Provence. Here, it was once a poor person’s meal made from any vegetables they had in the house. Today, ratatouille can be found in many varieties made with various vegetables and herb blends. Wherever you order this Provencal dish, it will taste different each time.
Beside ratatouille, there is another speciality that could be called ‘the dish’ of the Provence. Bouillabaisse is a fish soup with vegetables and herbs that, traditionally, was also made with left-over vegetables. It was mainly eaten by families who lived off fishing. Nowadays, bouillabaisse is considered a Provencal speciality, and it is still made from many different types of fish and vegetables. The cook has a certain degree of creative freedom. But one thing that it always contains is Provencal herbs.
Herbes de Provence
Herbs are the speciality from the Provence. You can find the flavours of the sunny south of France in a pot full of Provencal herbs in supermarkets abroad too. The most important ingredients are rosemary, oregano and thyme. Other herbs are often added, such as savoury. Over six hundred different herbs that play an essential role in the kitchen grow in this French region. That may be the reason that everything tastes twice as good in the Provence.
Worked up an appetite yet? There are even more delicious things from the Provence! Truffles, almond sweets, candied fruit, olive oil, olive pâté and of course exquisite wines are some of the typical delicacies from the Provence that you must try when at a campsite in the Provence. Which Provencal delight can they get you out of bed for? Let us know in a post!
Camping in the Provence. See all the ACSI inspected campsites in the Provence!
Read our blog Bon appétit: 5 local delicacies from France for more of the French love of food.