Food to Eat in the South of France: A Travel Guide
France is an incredible place in the world for foodies to venture to, especially its southern region. In Southern France you'll not only be amazed by its local landscape, but be able to find many patisseries, fromageries, culinary classes that teach the local dish techniques, and fresh ingredients throughout the different regions that you can't find anywhere else in the country.
If you plan to take a trip to this part of France there are a few foods you'll definitely want to try when there. This article will highlight the different regions and cities of this area and some of the top dishes you need to consume when in them.
Regions and Cities to Visit
When spending the day in Nice you'll discover that much of its food is a mixture between Italian and French cuisine due to it being so close to the Italian border. You'll find many of the foods focus on seafood and vegetables.
- Niçoise Salad
This salad is packed with flavorful ingredients and is one food you'll definitely need to try for lunch. A fresh bed of lettuce is covered in anchovies, colorful sliced peppers, chopped potatoes, and sliced tuna and then tossed in a delicious vinaigrette. One Nice restaurant that is known for this salad is the NOMAD Bar. This restaurant offers a unique take on this dish that you'll definitely want to try.
- Vin Rosé
Because this area focuses on seafood, it's a great idea to try some local rosé selections. Many stores sell this delicate selection which is known for its burst of flavor thanks to the rich soil in the region.
A trip to Nice isn't complete without trying a local favorite: farcis. This dish is where vegetables, like tomatoes and eggplants, are hollowed out and then stuffed with things like chopped up meat, garlic, and breadcrumbs.
This food was invented in this seaside city and consists of a thick crust that's covered in caramelized onions, olives, and anchovies. It's basically the French version of pizza. You can often find this dish in Paris, but it's a great idea to consider trying it where it was actually first created.
If you're a cheese lover or want to experience some unique French dishes, Cannes is the perfect place to travel to.
- Beignets de Fleurs de Courgettes
Translated to Courgette Flowers, this dish is renowned in Cannes for its amazing flavor. These squash flowers are deep-fried in an amazing breadcrumb mixture. Sometimes you can even find ones that are stuffed with a vegetable blend before being fried.
This fish stew is made from freshly caught seafood in the Riveria. You'll find plenty of restaurants that sell their own special versions of this beloved stew, but it mainly consists of ingredients like fish, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, olive oil, clams, shrimp, and onions.Montpellier
- Gres de Montpellier
When in Montpellier you'll want to try out their incredible selection of wines. This city is known for its Gres de Montpellier selections which are red options. Two of the most popular choices to try here are Syrah, which tastes like a mixture of blueberries and olives, and Grenache, a drink that is a fruity mixture with swirls of cinnamon.
- Crème Catalone
You'll also find the mouthwatering Crème Catalone, a cream made up of lemon, vanilla, and fennel seed. It's often compared to Crème Brûlée.
Cargolade is another great dish to try and features snails baked in a salt, pepper, and herb sauce.Nîmes
One of the most iconic dishes Nîmes has to offer is Brandade. This dish is made up of a cod pureé that's wrapped up in beet leaves and covered in an aioli sauce. Besides this dish, you'll also want to try out some local green olives which are well-known for their burst of flavor.Narbonne
Narbonne features a few incredible dishes and drinks you can try, like its Salmon Tartare and Tapas. There's also Faisselle which is a raw cheese that's covered in red fruit. A delicious drink to try here is the Vin Citronné which has a dazzling summer-like taste with lemon mixed into its white wine.Avignon
When in Avigon you'll want to try the local asparagus. This vegetable is very popular here and is found in many restaurants where it's grilled or sauteed with herbs and a butter sauce. Another great eat to try is the local Charcuterie which features some local sausage slices. While you can find this dish in many Paris shops, the type here offers a mouthwatering selection of fresh herbs in the sausage.Grasse
Here you'll want to try Moules Frites, which is a dish made up of locally caught mussels, onions, carrots, and herbs soaked in a light sauce. On the top of this dish are freshly made potato chip that can be dipped in a tangy mayonnaise dip. It's the perfect meal for dinner.
The Midi-Pyrenées Region: Cahors and Revel
This region has a huge Spanish influence which can be seen in many of its dishes. The Toulouse Cassoulet is a popular one and features sausage and goose meat in a bubbling mixture of vegetables and herbs.
You'll also find that the Midi-Pyrenées loves violets and is something this region incorporates into many of its dishes and foods. You should try some of the local violet liqueur or honey which has a marvelous taste.
- Cahors Wine, Walnuts, and Croustilot Bread
You'll find a delicious wine here called Cahorswhich is a red selection that has delicious fruity flavors. This region is also known for its walnuts which can be found in many local dishes and pastries. Additionally, when in Cahors, you'll have to try its Croustilot Bread which is made only using locally grown wheat, water, salt, and yeast. This gives it a pure natural flavor.
Revel is a wonderful place to go market shopping. Situated in the midst of a medieval city, the farmers market in Revel sells locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as homemade pastries and breads. One food to try at this market is the olives which come in a variety of colors and flavors that are sure to please your taste buds.
It might seem like Paris is the ultimate place for foodies to visit, but Southern France is an incredible place for those people interested in experiencing everything the French cuisine has to offer to visit as well. You'll find a variety of dishes and discover the local touches that each region adds to certain meals.
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