A taste of Provence
The holy trinity of food in Provence is tomato, garlic and olives, and most local dishes will include at least two of them, if not all three. Throw in some freshly-baked baguette, warm from the oven, tangy fresh goat’s cheese and a bottle of local red or rosé and you have everything you need for a delicious picnic.
One of the joys of Provence is that, whatever the day of the week, there’s always a market happening somewhere. Check the local newspaper for a list of regional markets, grab your shopping basket and head off to browse the stalls and try your hand at a bit of banter with the locals.
Even if you’re not planning on cooking while you’re on holidays, once you discover the joys of the pre-dinner apéro you’ll need to keep the fridge stocked up with some essential ingredients.
Must-try Provençal food
Tapenade – a paste made with olives, garlic and anchovies, which comes in green and black versions. Ask to taste before you buy as recipes differ from one seller to another. Serve on crusty baguette and enjoy with a glass of chilled rose de Provence
Anchoïade – a salty, gutsy anchovy spread that will wake up your taste buds with a bang. Delicious as an apéro on croutons, washed down with a glass of pastis – the only alcohol with a flavour strong enough not to be overpowered.
Aioli – a mayonnaise made from garlic and olive oil and used as a dip for vegetables, this delicious sauce won’t do much for your breath, but if everyone is having some – who cares?