Made in Provence

Discovering local produce

Throughout the Toulon Provence Méditerranée area, you will find producers and market gardeners happy to welcome visitors keen to sample their produce: beekeepers, olive-growers, wine-growers, livestock farmers, etc. This is a generous land, producing not only Côte de Provence wines but also olive oil, honey, figs, goat's cheese, etc.

Wine

The history of the region is closely bound up with wine, since it was the Ancient Greeks who planted the first vine stocks here, making it the oldest wine-growing region of France. Wines from certain estates have won prizes at both national and international level.

Olive oil

Olive oils offer a rich and varied palette of aromas and tastes, influenced by the different olive varieties and the method of extraction. Some estates are open to the public, offering visitors a chance to wonder at centuries-old olive trees and to taste, and perhaps purchase, the oil produced from their fruit.

Figs

Figs can be enjoyed fresh, dried, as a jam and also in a wide range of dishes.  Buy them at a market or direct from the producer.

Honey

Many beekeepers encourage visits from those who would like to learn more about this ancient form of husbandry. The hot sun, the fields of lavender, the delicious combination of thyme and rosemary, the winding paths bordered by stretches of heather and rockrose all offer ideal conditions for the honey bee. There is a flavour of honey to suit almost every taste, with rosemary, chestnut, lavender and acacia some of the most popular. Honey is also used as an ingredient in making nougat and pain d’épices (spice bread).

Snails

One of the specialities of the Toulon Provence Méditerranée area is snail farming. Visit the local snail farm to find out more about how the Petits Gris (small grey) and Gros Gris (large grey) snails are bred and raised, and enjoy tastings.

Recipe ideas

Fish soup

1.5 kg of mixed rock fish (redfish, John Dory, monkfish, conger, sand tilefish, etc.), gutted and descaled

  • 3 onions
  • 25 cl olive oil
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 40 cl dry white wine
  • 2 leeks (whites only)
  • sprig of thyme
  • bay leaf
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 g saffron

Slice the onions and leeks and sweat in the olive oil with the fish heads.

Add the crushed garlic and the tomatoes, simmer for 5 minutes.

Then add the fish, cut crosswise into chunks, the white wine and herbs (except for the saffron), stir vigorously and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour in cold water, add salt and bring to a fast boil for 30 minutes.

Remove the herbs and fish heads, blend and strain, pressing down hard to extract all the juices.

Return to the heat and bring to a gentle boil. Add the saffron and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Serve with croutons rubbed with garlic, grated gruyere cheese and rouille sauce.

Pine nut tart

Serves 6 – 8

  • Sweet pastry base,
  • 100 g sugar,
  • 100 g butter,
  • 400 g pine nuts,
  • 25 cl double cream

Make a light caramel from the butter and sugar.

Add the pine nuts. Leave to cook and deglaze using the cream.

Pour the mixture into the pastry base.

Bake for 45 minutes.