Flavours of Provence
Vaucluse is at once an orchard, an olive grove and a vegetable garden. It is home to a number of AOC (“designation of origin”) products: Cavaillon melon, Monts de Venasque cherry, Muscat du Ventoux grape, and Carpentras strawberry.
Olives pressed in mills produce fruity olive oil, an essential ingredient in Provence cuisine.
Simply add in some traditional flavours, such as candied fruit, nougat, Carpentras berlingots, herbs, saffron…
Step into a world of flavour!
These strawberries – bright red, plump and sweet – are the jewel in Carpentras’ crown.
Cavaillon in Provence and the surrounding area: here, melon is cultivated, cherished and eaten in every possible way.
The Provence olive
The history of olives in Vaucluse dates all the way back to Antiquity, without interruption!
The origins of nougat lie in a charming love story, that of a young apprentice pastry-chef besotted with his master’s daughter. His recipe, which combines honey and almond, laid the foundation for one of Provence’s most iconic sweets.
Of the four edible varieties of truffle, the most gastronomically sought-after remains the Tuber melanosporum, the “black diamond”.
It’s known as Vaucluse’s red gold – and for good reason!
Olive and olive oil
It’s because the olive is such a simple product that it lends itself to such a wide range of uses.
Aglandau olives produce a powerfully fragrant oil with a flavour of artichoke and almond, which carries “Huile de Haute Provence” Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) certification.
The Tanche variety, in addition to its oil, produces flavoursome black table olives, which carry the “Olive noire de Nyons” (“Nyons black olive”) AOC.
Since 2006, the “Huile d’olive de Provence” (“Provence olive oil”) AOC has protected and guaranteed the quality of the olive production from 115 Vaucluse communes located between Mont Ventoux and the Luberon. This AOC comprises two denominations, depending on whether fresh or matured olives are used; if the period between harvesting and pressing is longer than three days, the words “matured olives” are added to the appellation.
Did you know?
One tree yields between 15 and 50 kilos of olives. It takes four to six kilos of olives to produce one litre of oil.
When’s the right time of year to buy truffles?
The harvesting season runs from December to March.
In winter, truffle attracts chefs and food-lovers from far and wide.
At the mention of black truffles, do your thoughts immediately turn to Périgord, rather than Vaucluse? Well think again: Vaucluse boasts the finest truffle markets in France, Richerenches and Carpentras. In fact, a whopping 80% of French truffle production originates in Provence, with half of these “black diamonds” unearthed in Vaucluse.