Provence main page

Basic aioli (garlic sauce)
Crab tian with gazpacho coulis
Eggplant and lamb cake
Eggplant and tomato terrine
Eggplant and pepper tian
Eggplant caviar molds
Eggplant papeton
Leg of lamb Niçoise
Oven dried tomato and black olive tians
Pissaladière Provençale
Seared tuna with tian of provencal vegetables
Tomatoes with peppers and stewed eggplants
Trout grenobloise with tian of zucchini
Opens map of Provence

From its herb-scented hills to its yacht-filled harbors, no other region of France fires the imagination as strongly as Provence. The vivid landscape and luminous light have inspired artists and writers from Van Gogh to Picasso and from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Pagnol.
The borders of Provence are defined by nature: to the west, the Rhône; south, the Mediterranean; and north, where the olive trees end. To the east are the Alps and a border which has shifted over the centuries between France and Italy. Within is a contrasting terrain of plummeting gorges, Camargue salt flats, lavender fields and sun-drenched beaches.
Past visitors have left their mark. In Orange and Arles, the buildings of Roman Provincia are still in use.
Fortified villages like Eze were built to withstand the Saracen pirates who plagued the coast in the 6th century. In the 19th century, rich Europeans sought winter warmth on the Riviera, and by the 1920s, high society was in residence all year, and their elegant villas remain.
The warm sunlight nurtures intense flavors and colors. The image of Provence bathed in sunshine is marred only when the bitter Mistral wind scours the land. It has shaped a people as hardy as the olive tree, yet quick to embrace life to the fullest the moment the sun returns.
Influenced by traditional French, Italian, and North African cuisine, the food and drink of Provence presents a variety of tastes which are sure to please. Provençal cuisine is almost always prepared with olive oil (huile d'olive) and garlic (ail). Tomatoes are another common ingredient, and you can safely assume that any dish described as "à la provençale" will be prepared with garlic-seasoned tomatoes.
Other vegetables that frequently appear on Provençal menus are eggplant (aubergine), summer squash (courgette) and raw onions. Tomatoes, eggplant and squash stewed together along with green peppers,garlic and various aromatic herbs produce that perennial Provencal favorite ratatouille.
Perhaps the most typical sauce of the region is the Aioli, prepared by mixing mayonnaise - made with olive oil of course - with lots of freshly crushed garlic. It is spread generously on hot or cold vegetables and seafood. Provence's most famous dish is bouillabaisse,which is made with at least three kinds of fresh fish cooked for ten minutesor so in broth with onions, tomatoes, saffran, and various herbs, includinglaurel, sage and thyme. Bouillabaisse is usually served with toast and rouille, a spicy sauce that some people mix into the soup but which others spread on the toast. The most renowned bouillabaisse is made in Marseille.

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