From fresh fish to ripe tomatoes and fragrant herbs, Provence cuisine has a distinctly Mediterranean flair
France is known around the world for its fine cuisine, deep culinary traditions, and elevated dining experiences to please the palette. However, for those that have never set foot on French soil, the variation in popular foods and meals by region can be quite a surprise. For example, the heavier, more decadent dishes found in Paris are nothing like the fresh, light fare you find on the menu in Provence.
Provence, in fact, is a truly unique area of France when it comes to food due to its location. Positioned in the southeast corner of the country, Provence is bordered by Italy on the east and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Because of that, Provence cuisine has an interesting (and delicious) Italian and Mediterranean influence. Fresh fish is extremely popular, along with tastes of garlic, olives, ripe tomatoes, fragrant herbs, truffles, and lemons.
If you only have one day in Provence to wander through the lavender fields, quaint villages, and historical sites, it’s essential to make a plan in advance when it comes to your daily meals. After all, if you are going to spend one day in Provence, you have to make sure you do it right. For the true Provencal experience, keep an eye out for these classic Provence dishes and foods.
Breakfast in Provence is very traditionally “French” — most people enjoy a strong cup of coffee with a croissant, pastries, or bread with butter and jam. This is the smallest meal of the day and never a huge indulgence. The best way to enjoy breakfast in Provence is at an open-air café, sipping your café noir or café au lait slowly, and savoring the buttery tastes of a freshly baked croissant.
Lunch is more substantial than breakfast, but not as robust as dinner. If you are walking around Provence in the summer months, you will likely want something light, but filling.
Aperitif is a charming custom in Provence that is similar to happy hour in the States. In France, people set aside time at the end of the work day and before dinner to just eat, drink, talk, and enjoy each other’s company. Some people will meet for an aperitif at a bar or café, while others will host in their homes. Wherever you choose to take part, make sure you nibble or sip one of these local dishes:
Dinners in Provence are usually the largest meal of the day and can end up being a few different courses. This is when you can really take the time to sit, relax, and savor the flavors of Provence cuisine.
You can indulge in the homemade sweets that Provence cuisine has to offer at any point during the day, but keep an eye out for these treats:
Visiting Provence can be a truly immersive experience, and with so much to see — and eat — you may want to extend your time in the region. Contact a Provence Villa Specialist at WIMCO Villas to learn more about Provence, booking a private villa, and the best times of the year to visit this French treasure.
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