9 Classic Dishes from Provence to Try this Summer – Frenchly

From St. Tropez to Marseille, these are the dishes that will definitely make your Instagram followers jealous.

1. Ratatouille

No, it’s not just a cute animated childrens movie about — of all things — a rat who likes to cook. It’s actually a vegetable stew originally made by peasants in the South of France (particularly in Nice) when they didn’t want to waste a bunch of random ingredients. Ratatouille is tomato based, with zucchini, eggplant, onions, and a variety of spices, and it is slow cooked until the vegetables gain a smooth, creamy texture.

2. Socca

Like many of these dishes, socca is an example of Provence’s Mediterranean influences, both Italian and North African. Socca is a thin, unleavened pancake made from chickpea flour typically baked in a tinned copper plate as a street food in Marseille or Nice.

3. Soupe au Pistou

This vegetable and bean soup is similar to the Italian minestrone, but a bit tapered down, designed to highlight the vegetables of the season. White beans, tomatoes, onions, green beans, squash, and pasta are common ingredients. And the coup de grâce is the spoonful of pistou, pesto made without pine nuts, plopped right on top for you to stir in. Continue reading “9 Classic Dishes from Provence to Try this Summer – Frenchly”

10 Top-Rated Rosé Wines, From Provence to Your Couch

Spring has sprung and that means it’s time for rosé all day. Here are our picks for choice bottles from the French region that started it all, Provence.

Rosé season is upon us. The best way to transition into warmer weather is with a bottle from Provence, the French region that started the pink-wine craze.

Delightfully fruity, yet impeccably honed by crisp acidity (and sometimes tangy minerality), rosés from Provence are often considered the top in their category. While usually made from a mix of red grapes—the roster can include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvèdre—some bottlings can even include the white grape Vermentino, or Rolle, as it’s called locally.

Here are some of the top-scoring Provence rosés from across the region that are hitting shelves and online shops. Scoop them up and enjoy a bit of Provençal sunshine in a bottle.

Château Vignelaure 2019 Rosé (Coteau d’Aix-en-Provence); $22, 93 points. Produced from organic grapes, this ripe wine is well structured and richly elegant. It has depth and concentration as well as a touch of tannins from the Cabernet and Syrah in the blend. The wine is just ready to drink, although it will be better from late 2020. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. Editors’ Choice. –Roger Voss Continue reading “10 Top-Rated Rosé Wines, From Provence to Your Couch”

France in focus – The other D-Day: 1944 Provence landings

This week, France in Focus heads to the southern port city of Toulon, which is home to the French Navy’s main base. It was here on August 15, 1944, that the Allied invasion of southern France began. We take a closer look at just what happened and explore the various efforts being made today, 75 years later, to ensure the memory of those events lives on.

Source: France in focus – The other D-Day: 1944 Provence landings

Calanques the Stunning Fjords of Provence

The Fjords of Provence

Just east of Marseille lays the charming coastal town of Cassis, nestled at the bottom of steep, vineyard-covered hills that come almost to the sea. It’s so adorably cute that you might think you are walking into a postcard. There’s nothing better than a stroll through town followed by a bowl of fish soup or some moules-frites at one of the many restaurants that line the docks.

The setting of Cassis is dramatic. Besides those vineyards, Cap Canaille—the highest cliff in France—towers over the town on its east side. And to the west are the beautiful and rugged calanques, the so-called mini fjords of France [ . . . ]

Continue at PERFECTLY PROVENCE: Calanques the Stunning Fjords of Provence

The Best Airbnbs in the South of France

Including Julia Child’s very own cottage (with plenty of kitchen utensils included).

We’ve said it again and again: there’s so much more to France than just a trip to Paris. Case in point? The South of France—a.k.a. the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region—is home to some of our favorite towns. There are big names like Cannes, Marseilles, and Nice in the area, but there are plenty of smaller towns to enjoy, like Menton, Grasse, and Cassis. If you want to live out your provincial French fantasy—whether it’s smack on the beach, in a historic old town apartment, a multi-acre château, or in Julia Child’s own kitchen—we’ve got some Airbnbs for you to book, spread all across the region.

As a bonus, all of the Airbnb selections are run by Superhosts, who each have a rating of 4.8 or above, a record of zero cancellations, and at least a 90 percent response rate, meaning they’ll get back to you ASAP. Read on to find the perfect Airbnb for your vacation along France’s southern coast [ . . . ]

Continue at: The Best Airbnbs in the South of France – Condé Nast Traveler

Send in the clowns – and send me, too!

By: Michael Stevenson

My wife Linda and I enjoyed such a wonderful vacation in France this past month.

We began our trip in Paris’ Butte-aux-Cailles neighborhood in the underappreciated 13th arrondissement. Butte-aux-Cailles was a pleasant surprise, with its amazing street art, local bistros, and funky bars. We had a groovy night of Afro-Pop and dancing the evening of the Fete de Musique!

Next we took a train to Avignon where we rented a car to drive to the seaside village of Cassis. This was perfect timing, as the temperatures climbed over 110 degrees. We cooled ourselves with an ocean swim and boat ride through Cassis’ beautiful calanques.

We then drove three hours north from Cassis to Vienne to attend their annual Jazz Festival. There, in the magnificent outdoor Theatre Antique, we watched a fantastic show performed by Canadian piano man Chilly Gonzales. We drove south again to our favorite village in Provence, Venasque, meeting-up with our friends Jim and Shirley, who are our neighbors back come in Rhode Island, USA.

It was in Venasque that I was fortunate to be introduced to “Compagnie Née au Vent,” in a street performance by the company’s two “clowns”/actors, Claire Néel and Alexandre Florent.

A bus crashes Cyrano and the clowns show their mercy

The two clowns, in character as “Bombyx” and “Luna”, performed scenes from the classic novel “Cyrano de Bergerac,” as well as skits from the Hollywood movies Dirty Dancing, Titanic, and (my favorite) the spaghetti scene from Disney’s Lady & the Tramp.

Walking through the winding streets of the tiny village, I loved every minute of their twilight performance.

It was hilarious, magical and unforgettable theater!

My only regret was that during the several requests for audience participation, I was too embarrassed by clumsy francaise to volunteer.

On the Compagnie Née au Vent website are these words from the beloved author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

“Make the dream devour your life and that life does not devour your dream”

Next summer, I promise to improve my French and to raise my hand to volunteer once invited to “send in the American clown!” C’est moi!