I dare say, I love French food and wine. I’ve been twice to France, and in both trips, found myself spending part of my trip in Provence, enjoying seafood and sipping rose wine from the area. So it was with great anticipation that I opened the cover of “Provence Food and Wine, The Art of Living” by François Millo and Viktorija Todorovska, and devoured the tidbits on each page. Let me explain with more details.
History of Provence
This is a book that ties together the culture, food, and wine of Provence. The authors first take you through some of the history of the region, with the contributions from the Greeks and Romans. You get to learn about lavender (which I love) and all the different ways it is used, games they play, e.g. Petanque, which is similar to Bocce Ball, and the different languages spoken. When I was in Provence, I spoke French, but I have learned there is both a Provençal and a Niçois language, which has peaked my interest, and I must learn (I am a bit of a polyglot). The pictures in this section and the other sections are visually beautiful and I can tell were taken professionally. François Millo is a professional photographer, and a native of Provence. The photos draw you into the book.
Provence is best known for their rose wines, which pair beautifully with their cuisine from the region, whether seafood, or salad, or more hearty chicken or meat dishes. Francois and Viktorija take us through the history of wine production in the region and then dig into a discussion of the unique terroir and Appellation d’Origine Contrôlées (AOCs) of Provence. It is quite detailed and wonderful for a wine geek like me. If you just enjoy wine and food, you may want to skim through this section and enjoy the beautiful pictures of vineyards, grapes, and landscapes. One thing I wish this section had was a map showing the location of each AOC as it was discussed. I did later find that there is such a map at the back of the book, so if you read this section, flip to the back for the map.
In this section you also learn about how rose wine is made and finally how to properly taste a glass of wine.
The Cuisine of Provence
If thinking about olive oil, seafood, lavender, and truffles makes you hungry, you will love the cuisine of Provence and this section of the book. The authors break down the cuisine by sub-region:
- Aix-en-Provence and Haute Provence
- La Cote Varoise
- Nice and the Riviera
Without going into detail about each region, I must say that the recipes for each region are fairly straight forward to cook, and look very healthy and delicious. I, in particular, would like to try making:
- Crespeou de Provence (Layered omelette)
- Bouillabaisse (a classic fish soup)
- Moules a la Provencale (Mussels a la Provencal)
- Lotte a la Citronnelle et au Lait de Coco (Monkfish with lemongrass and coconut milk)
- Pissaladiere (Onion tart)
There are many more recipes to tempt your culinary skills, and enjoyment of the results with family and friends. Although I have no pictures from the book to show you, I have a few pictures from my trips, to help you get a feel for the region.
I received a copy of this book at no charge, but it did not affect my review. This is a book I can recommend to you without reservation. Enjoy!