Provençal Cuisine

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When you think of Provencal Cuisine thoughts of onion, garlic, tomato, eggplant & zucchini may spring to mind. A delicious and healthy taste of the south of France.

When you think about Provencal cuisine, what comes to mind? There is often a mix for a lot of people between what is considered Provencal cuisine and what is referred to as Mediterranean cuisine. Perhaps it is easiest to think about ingredients rather than actual dishes. Wonderful ingredients such as herbs de provence, olive oil, garlic, onion, basil, lavender, zucchini, eggplant to name a few.

Provencal cuisine refers to the cuisine in the southeast of France. Mediterranean cuisine includes the cuisine of Provence among others. At Cook’n with Class Uzès, we have referred to both. While you will find Provencal cuisine in restaurants even in the north of France, you can expect when enjoying or cooking this food in its home – that the ingredients as long as they are locally grown, have had the benefit of what the French refer to as “Le Terroir” – a term that can loosely be thought of as earth enriched. You should expect that if you have a ratatouille in the south it really tastes like what this dish should taste like – Provence! This same terroir is essential to wine production.

You may have noticed on various menus the term “a la Provençale” as part of a dish name. When you see this, you can expect to always have these 5 ingredients included in the preparation of that dish – tomato, onion, garlic, bell peppers & olive oil. You will rarely see butter or cream in Provencal cuisine not that there is no diary in this food out the south. You will see la brousse which is a made from fresh sheep’s milk – it is similar to cottage cheese.

So what are some examples of classical Provencal Cuisine: Ratatouille, Petit farçi (stuffed vegetable), Crespiou (vegetable omelette), Daube Provencale (similar to a Beouf Bourguignon), Tapenade, Bouillabaisse, Aioli (the sauce & the dish) & Bourride (ailoi mixed with the cooking juices).