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Provencal Cuisine

By Viator, September 2014

5 111 Reviews | Add your review

Thanks to its picturesque setting on the Mediterranean coast, Provence, in Southern France, is blessed with a warm climate, idyllic landscape and highly fertile soils that yield a range of fresh produce to fuel the region’s famous cuisine. Far from the hearty breads and cheeses typical of French food, Provencal cuisine is characterized by its light Mediterranean flavors - sun-ripened vegetables, fresh Provencal herbs (native thyme, rosemary, basil, savory and marjoram, all sold around the world as ‘herbs de provence’), lashings of homegrown extra-virgin olive oil and a vast variety of fresh seafood.

Perhaps the most famous regional dishes are the bouillabaisse and ratatouille, which appear on most menus around the region. The former employs a choice selection of fish and shellfish, soaked in a tomato and saffron infused soup and served smeared in aioli, the region’s trademark creamy garlic sauce. Ratatouille is a more robust vegetable stew, flavored by regional vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onion and bell peppers. Nicoise salad (so called as it hails from Nice) is another famous specialty – a layered salad of tuna steak, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes, garnished with hard-boiled eggs and olives.

Thanks to the regions proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, seafood plays a big part in the region’s gastronomic charms with shrimps, mussels, clams, squid, langoustines (miniature lobsters), anchovies and tuna all gracing menus. Look out for brandade, a fish-and-potato stew made with local salt cod; rouget, a small red fish popular among locals; and loup, local sea bass typically grilled with fennel.

Of course, no self-respecting Frenchman would serve a meal without an accompanying breadbasket and Provence has its own regional delicacies to rival the humble baguette. Fougasse is the traditional bread, a circular flatbread often filled with nuts or olives. Also look out for Socca, a peppery bread made of chickpea flour; Pissaladiere, a local pizza-style flatbread; and Pan Bagna, a bread roll topped with anchovies, olives and tomatoes.

Tours & Tickets

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Small-Group Nice Food Tour: Provencal Specialties, Nice, null
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Small-Group Nice Food Tour: Provencal Specialties

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 110 Reviews

Eat your way around Vieux Nice – Nice’s old town – on a 3.5-hour food walking tour! Led by a local guide passionate about the region’s rich gastronomic ...  Read more

Location: Nice, France
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $70.58
Food and History Walking Tour in Nice, Nice, Food Tours
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Food and History Walking Tour in Nice

During this food tour through the open air market you will discover the culinary side of Nice. Join your knowledgeable guide on an original insider tour of ...  Read more

Location: Nice, France
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $85.78
Provencal Cooking Class and Lunch in Nice, Nice, Food Tours
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Provencal Cooking Class and Lunch in Nice

Visit a local market in a non touristic neighborhood, choose your cheese and wine and enjoy a home cooking class where everyone will be involved preparing the ...  Read more

Location: Nice, France
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $129.21
French Cooking Experience in St Jeannet, Nice, Cooking Classes
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French Cooking Experience in St Jeannet

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

In the city of St Jeannet, meet your cooking instructor and follow her instructions to learn how to prepare a complete French lunch. All produce are from ...  Read more

Location: Saint-Jeannet, France
Duration: Flexible

From USD $96.64
3-Hour French Cooking Class at Local's House in Nice, Nice, Cooking Classes
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3-Hour French Cooking Class at Local's House in Nice

Spend an afternoon in an authentic Nice home cooking and baking with a local. Learn all about the local provençal ingredients, then roll up your sleeves ...  Read more

Location: Nice, France
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $70.58

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