The cuisine of Provence is among the most popular and beloved in the world. In many ways, it’s responsible for the modern “Mediterranean diet” that is wildly popular these days. Centered around seasonal and local fresh ingredients, Provençal cuisine is known for its rustic simplicity.
Here are some suggestions of what to eat and where to dine when in Provence.
Must-have Provençal dishes
- Bouillabaisse: The epitome of Provençal cooking. Often consists of several varieties of fish, tomatoes, saffron and white wine, this delicious fish stew is cooked gently in order to bring out the flavour of each ingredient.
- Ratatouille: This colourful, meltingly soft vegetable stew is another iconic dish from Provence. To preserve the individuality of each vegetable, it is recommended that they are cooked separately before being served together.
- Soupe au Pistou: Vegetable and bean soup garnished with ‘pistou’ (basil dressing)
- Salade Niçoise
- Boeuf à la Gordienne
- Loup de Mer
- Artichauts à la Barigoule
- Daube: A favourite in winter. This hearty stew consists of slowly braised beef in wine, vegetables and Provençal herbs. Served with polenta or gnocchi.
- Pissaladiere: Flatbread topped with caramelised onion and anchovy.
Traditional market fares
Markets have a way of drawing in the crowds—and for good reason. When you go to a market, you can see for yourself how people are still connected with the land and grow their own food. It’s no different in Provence. Here are some local produce to look out for:
- Fleur de sel de Camargue
- Olives de Provence
- Herbes de Provence
- Provence honey
- Calisson: This traditional sweet treat is made of candied fruit, ground almonds and royal icing.
- Olive oil
- Pêche de Vigne: Get this special type of peach fresh in August or in jam/spread form.
Markets in Provence
Fruit and vegetable market
Place des Precheurs
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: 8am-1pm
Saturday & Sunday: 6am-2pm
Émile Combes Boulevard
Wednesday: approximately 8am-1pm
Boulevard des Lices to Boulevard Clemenceau
Saturday: approximately 8am-1pm
Les Halles de Nîmes
Monday – Saturday: 7am-1pm
Thursday: approximately 8am-1pm