Olive oil at the heart of Provençal cuisine
In Provence, people have always cooked with olive oil. Provençal food is simple and generous. The secrets of this traditional cooking often reside in the scent of aromatic plants and in the aromas of French olive oil from small producers. Provence is home to a wide variety of culinary preparations. Starters, dishes and desserts, all with olive oil!
The olive tree is everywhere in Provence
The landscapes of Provence are characterised by the permanent presence of the olive tree. Provence covers 5 departments: the Bouches du Rhône, the Var, the Vaucluse, the Alpes Maritimes and the Alpes de Haute Provence. Provence is both inland and bathed by the Mediterranean. The production of olive oil has remained a local, family and traditional practice. The olive oil is virgin because there are no additives. It is a natural olive oil that has not been refined by chemicals. Olive oil is extra virgin because it is of superior quality and obtained by first cold pressing (without heating the olives). Olive oil is PDO or DOC when it corresponds to the typical taste of a territory. It can be awarded with medals in major competitions. In this case, its exceptional taste and authenticity are rewarded. But above all, the people of Provence are proud of their olive oil and of their cooking!
Olive oil from Provence and flavours of traditional Provençal cuisine
Olive oil, a touch of garlic, a little basil, thyme and rosemary, this is the secret of a sunny recipe. But each family, each village and each person has its own know-how… Depending on the area, on the Mediterranean coast or in the hinterland, the recipes differ, but they all have one thing in common: olive oil.
Fish recipes with olive oil can be found on the coast: bouillabaisse, sardines with escabeche, aïoli, cod brandade, baked sea bream and bass, red mullet, mussels and tellin… Traditional recipes for meat and poultry come mainly from the interior of Provence: chicken with olives, rabbit with garlic, fennel or figs, gardiane or Provençal stew, stir-fried veal with olives, roast lamb with herbs…. Vegetables in Provence are always cooked with olive oil: ratatouille, aubergine or courgette tian, fried aubergines, potato stew with olives, provencal tomatoes, …
The starters, with their extraordinary diversity, can be enjoyed, often in the shade of the plane trees and under a wisteria or vine trellis. The starters with olive oil are numerous and famous: tapenade, anchoïade, tomato pie, pissaladière, aubergine caviar, pasta with pistou, goat’s cheese salad, endive salad, artichoke barigoule, pistou soup, fish soup, aïgo boulido soup, pan bagnat… There are also desserts with olive oil, which are enjoyed from morning to night: the traditional olive oil pump, shortbread, orange biscuit, olive oil crepes, honey and lemon madeleine, chickpea flour cake, almond and lemon fondant…
Enjoy the many benefits of French olive oil and the subtle taste of Provencal cooking! From now on, you are in Provence!