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PROVENCE: GEOGRAPHY MATTERS
“Provence” has more efficacy as a "brand" than as a place. One rarely if ever hears any residents of the Vaucluse say that they live in "Provence." The word is heard frequently in its adjectival form: provençal.
As geography, the term "Provence" suffers abuse. The French consider contemporary 'Provence' to take in three administrative department:
Confusion pops up due to the administrative region PACA: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
When "Provence" is employed for the department of the Var (Toulon, St, Tropez) or the department of the Alpes-Maritime (Côte d'Azur) or even the five departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon, it is the "brand" asserting itself.
This is a regional distinction that Peter Mayle buys into 100% in his book Provence A-Z. In fact, if Mayle had been 'geographically-correct,' his iconic best seller would have been titled "A Year in the Luberon."
The Luberon and the Comtat Venaissin, referred to as the “Comtat,” are the two large regions within the Vaulcuse,
Category Archives: Food
“What’s the point,” was the bemused reaction of a confrere in the Vaucluse to a first read last fall of an article in the New York Times, “Steal My Vacation: Norma Kamali’s Provence” by Stephanie Rosenbloom. A footnote informed readers … Continue reading
Crillon Le Brave: A Romantic Rendezvous Heightened By Local-Produce-Cum-Local-Wine at the Bistrot 40K
In the pleasant verdant countryside of the Vaucluse, about a half-an-hour drive northeast of Avignon, stands a large proud stone edifice on the perched hill of a village in miniature, Crillon le Brave, which before it stretches out a commanding … Continue reading
Saint Didier: Awesome New Flavors at Silvain frères, Gnarly Nougat Heaven – Take Home the True Flavors of Provence
Shes as sweet as tupelo honey Shes an angel of the first degree Shes as sweet as tupelo honey Just like honey from the bee – Van Morrison – Spend some time tasting samples in the shiny boutique of Silvain … Continue reading
Tavel: L’Auberge de Tavel is a Refined Culinary Time You Will Want to Do Again; Take In As Well World Class Rosé Wines
Plat: Bass with Little Vegetables at L’Auberge de Tavel A major advantage for any wine enthusiast visiting an appellation in the Southern Rhone is to have a ‘point de chute’ (a landing place) from which to nourish the body and … Continue reading
The urge to indulge oneself in the delights of everything Provence is symptomatic of the impoverished assumption that everything in the region is authentic, e.g. made in Provence. Not so. Market day somewhere in Provence. You approach a stand displaying … Continue reading
There were notes of a different kind in the Ancient Theatre of Orange, built by the Romans in the first century, which is home to the Chorégies d’Orange, one of Europe’s top opera festivals. On this Friday evening, the “notes” … Continue reading
“Held to a time-honored Provençal tradition, he had to remain patient for three full days while the truffles, sealed in a glass jar with three or six or nine fresh eggs, infused those very eggs with its delectable aroma. Respecting … Continue reading
An Ambrosial Amuse-Bouche: Black Olive Confit and Sheep Cheese on Lightly-Toasted Thin-Slices of Whole Wheat Baguette
Flummoxed are you by how to break away from serving predictable boring amuse-bouches (chips, nuts, saucisson or pizza slices)? A brilliant solution: get hold of an electric slicer (une trancheuse) – the one that fashioned this recipe calling for thin … Continue reading
Chat with great winemakers in the Vaucluse about where their incredibly happy clientele dine – those motivated by a self-conscious concern of marrying a good bottle with a good dish – and you hear several places echoing in your ears … Continue reading
When you are in one of those can’t-even-go-to-the-market-and-don’t-want-to-cook moods, the choice of takeout or vegetarian takeout in the Luberon usually comes down to a local pizzeria. That is unless you are fortunate to find yourself in a gite or hotel … Continue reading