Mediterranean dishes


Côte d'Azur - French RivieraProvenceFood and Wine

OT d'Aix-en-Provence - Régis Cintas Flores
© OT d'Aix-en-Provence - Régis Cintas Flores

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 9 March 2023

Begin like a Niçoise

For your aperitif, grab a table at a café terrace and order a pastis, an anise-flavoured alcohol. Then, in the Old Town of Nice, try the pissaladière, a pizza-like tart garnished with onions, olives and anchovy fillet, and at the Cours Saleya market, an anchovy and olive oil pan-bagnat. Omnipresent in Mediterranean cuisine, olive oil is the base of local specialties like anchoïade (anchovy purée), tapenade (olive spread) and aïoli (a garlic dipping sauce).

Extraordinary vegetable gardens

Fill up on sun-drenched fruits and vegetables at the markets in Provence. As a starter, prepare (or order) a pistou (the Provencal name for basil) soup, or a niçoise salad. Top this off with a ratatouille, petits farcis (niçoise-stuffed vegetables) or beignets de fleurs de courgettes (zucchini flower fritters).

The bouillabaisse

Deeply intertwined with Marseille culture, today's bouillabaisse soup is prepared according to a specific charter, which indicates that the fish must be cut up in front of you. At the Miramar, the Marseille restaurant where this charter was founded, the bouillabaisse must be made with at least six types of rockfish.

A little meat

The Provencal daube, or braised meat, is a meat-based dish marinated in wine with herbs of Provence (thyme, rosemary, savoury). In Avignon, try the daube avignonnaise (lamb and white wine), and daube niçoise (beef, red wine and cèpes) on the Riviera.

Southern sweets

Navettes (a dry orange blossom water biscuit), pompe à l'huile (an olive oil based bread), calissons (candied fruit and dried almond candy)... Provence is indeed gourmand! Indulge in tart tropézienne (cream-filled brioche), made famous by Brigitte Bardot, and in Menton, near the Italian border, opt for a slice of lemon pie - the citrus is celebrated here each year. For Christmas in Provence, tables are decorated with 13 desserts, including hazelnuts, dried figs, almonds, nougat...

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