France: Provence

Coastal Provence

Wines along the coast to Fréjus
By Elizabeth Gabay MW

This Guide was last updated on 15 January 2010
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Food specialities

Fresh fish and shellfish: served simply, such as grilled red mullet with fennel.

Bouillabaisse: a chunky fish soup originating in Marseille made from a selection of local fish and seafood including mullet and snapper, and flavoured with saffron, tomatoes and olive oil. Served with croutons spread with rouille, a spicy mayonnaise. Cassis white wine traditionally accompanies this dish but a rosé works too.

Bourride: fish stew flavoured with orange and served with golden saffron potatoes and aioli.

Pistou soup: a tasty bean and vegetable soup flavoured with pistou. Rosés go particularly well with this soup.

Salade Nicoise: there are very many versions of this dish and it is the centre of heated debate as to what is included in a ‘real’ salade nicoise, but all are agreed that cooked vegetables (ie green beans and potatoes) are not traditional. The idea is to display as beautifully as possible fresh seasonal vegetables – ripe tomatoes, fresh broad beans, baby artichokes, olives, anchovies, tuna and hard boiled eggs.

Pan Bagna: left-over salade nicoise served up in a sandwich.

Socca: the traditional street food of Liguria and Nice – a ‘pancake’ made of chick pea flour and eaten hot with salt and pepper.

Panisse: another chick pea speciality made from a purée sold in a disc shape and eaten cut into chip shapes and fried.

Legumes Farcies: small round courgettes, tomatoes and onions stuffed with minced beef.

Daube Nicoise: beef stew with pasta, ravioli, gnocchi or polenta

Stockfish: dried salt cod either served in rich stew stocficado or as brandade - a purée mixed with tomatoes potatoes served warm with olive oil and bread.

Goats' cheese: either mild and fresh, or mature and pungent. La brousse is like crème fraiche, Le brous is STRONG – beware!

Tapenade: a paste of olives, capers and anchovies – served with bread or raw vegetables – often as an aperitif with a glass of chilled rosé.

Anchoiade: warm anchovy paste with olive oil and garlic into which you can dip raw vegetables.

Tropezienne: created after the Second World War, this luscious cake is of course made according to a secret recipe – so there numerous variations. Good versions are a sandwich of a thick layer of a custard cream in a cake of light brioche topped with grains of sugar.

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