Provence rocky soil, blue sky, Mediterranean coastline, tiled roof tops, wild country side...
Each region of France has its key elements, its personality, its style.
Provence can be described in color: Yellow, blue, burnt orange...
Described by taste: Garlic, olive, tomato, basil, melon, almond...
Provence can be described by flowers: Lavender, poppies, sunflowers...
Antique Provencal confit pots from Apt
Yellow confit pots are were very common in Provence. The held table scraps, mostly the fat off the lamb as to say. The larger ones were used to hold larger pieces "lard" after buthering, the smaller ones were used on the kitchen table.
As the soil in Provence is dry, mostly rocky, grapes, olives and goats do well here. Confit pots were a welcome item to collect and safe keep the fat of the barren land.
Costal towns, small ports, colorful facades.
Fountains in the center of town, with cool spring water, to help one cool off.
Sanary on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
With that said, my favorites are Cassis, Cotignac, Sanary, mainly little towns that only have a a cafe, bakery, church and of course a brocante on Sunday.
Two antique olive jars that I recently bought at the Barjac antique fair.
As Provence covers a large space, you will need a car. Most of the towns are an hour or two apart.
Either stay somewhere in the middle of Provence, such as Aix en Provence (click on links to see small charming hotels), or Gemenos. Or stay on the far end of Provence and work your way to the opposite side.
Stone walls in Gordes
Stone walls that go on for miles and miles.
Rows of plantain trees,
Fields of olive trees and farm houses called Mas.
"A mas was a largely self-sufficient economic unit, which could produce its own fruit, vegetables, grain, milk, meat and even silkworms. It was constructed of local stone, with the kitchen and room for animals on the ground floor, and bedrooms, storage places for food and often a room for raising silkworms on the upper floor. Not every farmhouse in Provence is a mas. A mas was distinct from the other traditional kind of house in Provence, the bastide, which was the home of a wealthy family.
The mas of Provence and Catalonia always faces to the south to offer protection against the mistral wind coming from the north. And because of the mistral, there are no windows facing north, while on all the other sides, windows are narrow to protect against the heat of summer and the cold of winter. A mas is almost always rectangular, with two sloping roofs. The mas found in the mountains and in the Camargue sometimes has a more complex shape." via Wiki.
Antique Provencal confit bowl.
Provence: Regional Specialties to lick your lips from here to eternity:
Pastis at the bar "Pastis" in Cassis.
Nougat-Blanc from Forcalquier
To follow the listed links above and to find out more please check:
When in Provence you must taste Bouillabaisse, fish stew. Miramar restaurant in Marseille is the place to go:
"Every 3rd Thursday of the month, join Christian Buffa and his team to discover the preparation of this marseillaise recipe: Bouillabaisse. The cooking class is open to all, whether cook, gourmet or one simply keen on learning this recipe which is much appreciated by Marseillaise and anyone having had the opportunity to taste it.
Classes begin at 9.30 am and finish at 2.00 pm with the tasting of the Bouillabaisse prepared during the session."
The best time to visit Provence is: May through September.
Though with that said, August can be very warm, and swarming with tourists.
May and June are flawless.
If you don't like garlic...
Oh so sad for you.
Provence and garlic go mouth to mouth, I mean hand to hand.
Blogs you might enjoy about Provence:
Winners of the Guessing Game Yesterday:
The creative winner is:
"That is easy: May flowers ready to be sent down to earth by the gods!"
The random winner is:
The first person to respond with the correct answer was:
"A cartoon. Which is a mock up illustration for a rug or tapestry."
Thank you for your comments and playing along! Please will the three winners send me an email with your address, so I can send you a prize!