France: Provence

Inland Provence

Côtes de Provence and Coteaux Varois Wines from the Hillsides
By Elizabeth Gabay MW

This Guide was last updated on 12 February 2010
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Food specialities

Truffles: in late autumn and winter, truffles are a particular speciality of Provence, and are used in a wide range of dishes. Match with a spicy, herbal Provence red unless serving truffles with brouillade (see below).

Brouillade: a delicious starter or snack of creamy scrambled eggs. The deluxe version has truffles included - a particularly successful accompaniment is a rich, creamy white wine.

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

Ratatouille: the classic dish of aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes and peppers cooked in olive oil, with the addition of garlic and aromatic herbs, such as rosemary.

Lamb: roasted or stewed.

Civet de Lapereau: rabbit stew.

Daube: rich beef stew

Morue: salt cod either served as Brandade de Morue – a purée of salt cod - with potatoes or as the fish in Le Grand Aioli.

Le Grand Aioli: a large platter of poached salt cod and boiled vegetables served with the garlic mayonnaise (aioli). The best versions do not over boil the vegetables and have a good selection (not just potatoes!).

Tourte de Blettes: a filling pie made either salée (savoury) made with blette (swiss chard), cheese, pine nuts and raisins, or sucré (sweet) with blette, pine nuts, raisins, orange peel and sugar

Goats' cheese: either mild and fresh, or mature and pungent.

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.

Desserts: not a big dessert area, but dried and candied fruits, honey and nuts feature in nougat, ice cream and tarts as well as more imaginative innovations such as lavender ice cream.

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