About Me

Monday, July 20, 2015

What Visitors to Provence Really Want

It can be quite challenging having a constant flow of house guests in the summer here in Provence. Not that I don’t like having them around, but our visitors are quite international, of diverse ages, different backgrounds with varying likes and dislikes.  And because I want thumbs up votes from these friends and family when they leave I do my best to share this unique region of France.  I want to surprise them, to get them to change their tastes, to open up to new discoveries in Provence.

French Apéro is a the perfect opportunity to sample Mediterranean cuisine
Good Mediterranean food from Provence based on vegetables and olive oil never fails to impress but what guests really love is the ritual of l’apéritif in Provence; light snacks in  an  outdoor atmosphere,  social moments before dinner.  The aperitif or apéro is a relaxing time for sitting, enjoying and chitchatting especially after a day at the beach or visiting the sights –a magic moment in Provence.

What do they like to taste?
My favorite finger foods are served as dips or with toast;   all healthy, hearty and following the Mediterranean food plan:

Caviar de Tomates Séchées
Yes, there are many recipes to this exotic sounding spread but my own version is quite simple - a mix of sundried tomatoes, grilled red peppers, garlic, olive oil with a hint of lemon always goes down well.  

Tapenade
The olive and caper spread, a Provencal speciality is one of the easiest aperitifs to put together and serve.

Fluffy Accras
Codfish accras are a Caribbean speciality, one that I discovered while living in the French island Martinique. Crisp on the outside, cooked to perfection on the inside, this satisfying spicy snack is one of the most popular aperitifs in my house.

And to drink?
Everyone likes chilled rosé; crisp, dry and refreshing, nothing beats rosé wine from Provence to set the scene.

 Discovering the vineyards in Provence
They like the taste but so few know about the Côte de Provence, the largest appellation of the Provence wine region.  But most visitors to Provence are curious; they want to learn about terroir, winemaking and how to read the label on a bottle of wine. There’s no better way to discover the business of rosé wine than talking to the winemakers themselves and tasting the wine from Provence, France’s oldest wine region. And we are lucky, we have a   plethora of vineyards to choose from.

Like good hosts, we flutter around our guests, prepare lists, become anxious because we want them to have a good time. We don’t offer them perfection in Provence, we don’t promise fluffy towels and  white sheets but  what we like more than anything is to  share our knowledge of traditional , it’s the simple  things that make the difference.  And it works.

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