Beginning the list it has to be bouillabaisse, the king of fish soups, the golden broth of Marseille, the elixir of the Gods….the hyperbole never seems to end. Order bouillabaisse in a fancy restaurant and the service is a theatre show. It takes at least three waiters, armed with a plethora of silver trays, and a bubbling cauldron of the viscous rich deep soup. I used to think bouillabaisse was all clever marketing, but the more times I order the dish, the more I fall in love with it. I’m a true convert to this fishy of fishy experiences. Best eaten with a view of the sea. Note some restaurants require you to order 48 hours in advance.
2. Artichokes a la barigoule
I once tried to make this myself. I kept peeling away at the artichoke leaves waiting, as per the recipe’s instructions, for the soft center. A soft center that never arrived. I was left with a pile of leaves and nothing to eat. Like bouillabaisse this is not a dish to try at home. Leave it to the professionals. Done properly this a supremely unctuous dish composed of a slow cooked artichoke, and fried onions and lardons. All you need to eat it with is a baguette, and a glass of pink.
Beloved by the Provencal thanks to the abundant local fresh fruit, Clafoutis is traditionally made with black cherries, but the Provencal just throw in whatever is in season including apricots, figs or peaches. It’s quick and easy to make, relying on baking a beaten egg mixture. Here’s a recipe for those keen to give it a try at home, if not don’t fret Clafoutis crops up on menus everywhere.
4. Truffle Pizza
Purists will insist on eating truffle with scrambled egg, or in an omelette or infusing risotto rice with truffle over several days, but more and more frequently you’ll find truffle pizza on the menu. Popularised by Michelin Chef Edouard Loubet at the Bastide du Capelongue, where you can taste a sublime example, the truffle pizza is now frequently on the menu at the Deux Garcons in Aix, Le Chastel in Aix, and Les 3 Ormeaux in Aix. The best versions have a light creamy cheese sauce into which the flavor of the truffle shavings melt. Simply delicious.
5. Pied Paquets
I am throwing this one in for the adventurous tourists. Sheep trotters stuffed with intestines will clearly not titillate average taste buds, but for gourmands looking for adventure its worth ordering. Cooked for me by my a friend, I was surprised by how much I loved the rich earthy flavors and the melt in the mouth texture. Go-on give it a go!