Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Aug 16, 2014 09:53 PM

Specialties from the Vaucluse (Avignon) part of Provence?

Hi all,

We will head off to Provence for 4 days after 5 days in Paris around early to mid October (8 to 12 oct). I looked up on Google and pan bagnat is from Nice and bouillabaisse is from Marseille. Are there any local dishes from Vaucluse, both quick bites and dishes served in restaurants, that are must try's? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What are restaurant mats ?

    Do you mean easy quick cooking or quick meals ?
    Provence is not into quickie meals ? For example, at Bartavelle, everyone's fave, be prepared to wait.

    Nice does have some interesting street food for you, besides Pan Bagnat, for which you can look up Jock's recommendation for a place in nearby Villefranche sur mer.
    Also, try socca in Nice. My fave socca place used to be Chez René in the old town. Now I swear by Da Pipo in the lovely area of the old port. It is ridiculously popular. It opens in the evening at 5pm. At 5:05pm the place is full.

    That period is game season. It is also season for mushrooms. You see easily a dozen types in the mushroom stalls in the markets. One easy thing to do is to make a mushroom omelette with some of those mushrooms and farm-fresh eggs.
    Ditto grapes, especially muscat grapes and fresh figs, all in season and splendid.

    Back to the Vaucluse, in the village of Bonnieux, the butcher has very good saucisse aux herbes that is easly grilled or barbecued. The only problem is that the excellent butcher likes to take a good chunk of September off for holiday.
    Nearby in Coustellet, the maison Gouin has a great butcher as well as very good cooked dishes, in case you feel lazy and not feel like cooking, or on your way to a picnic and want a one-stop picnic food supply.

    That area is much written about, I mean much much written about. For restaurant recommendations, you can easily look up the many reviews, especially those by Jake Dear and Kurtis.
    Ditto market days for various markets. I highly recommend the market in Coustellet. It is not photogenic like Ile sur la Sorgue or Vaison la Romaine, but its produce is excellent, much better than those two.
    Here is a market day schedule for that area:

    1. Sorry Parigi, I have to blame Apple auto correct on that one! ;-)

      I'm thinking if there is anything native to Avignon part of Provence, both the quick bites types of food similar to pan bangat, and dishes that you have to order and wait be served at sit down restaurants.

      Also for budget wise, we are probably unwilling to splash out more than 60 euros per person. (I know, it is at the cheaper eats end of the scale, but we would rather have the more budget options) Thanks.

      For your information, we are making our base in Avignon and do a few day tours around the region (Nimes, Luberon, Aix-en-Provcence, Marseille). We will only go as far as Marseille so we won't be getting to Nice.

      1. For lack of any better answer to your question, I'd throw out being sure to have anchoïade and tapenade while in Provence....and maybe tasting various olive oils. Although many wineries also produce olive oil, if you head towards les Baux you will see loads of olive tree groves and producers who welcome visits to sample their products.

        1 Reply
        1. re: boredough

          Love it, especially the kind made by farms. Great as a raw veggie dip or as marinade (with rosemary) for lamb.

        2. In addition to tapenade and anchoiade

          Pissaladière essentially onion-anchovy-black olive pizza
          Brandade (de morue) is salt-cod pounded with cream, garlic and olive oil - I don't like it
          Artichauts en barigoule - artichokes cooked in white wine with a chopped onion/mushroom/ham/parsley stuffing
          Mesclun salade - salad of 13-14 fine lettuces/herbs with a garlicky vinaigrette
          Pieds et paquets/tripes à la niçoise - sheep (feet and) tripe stuffed with a farce of garlic, parsley and pork fat
          Rable de lapereau - back of young wild rabbit usually stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts
          Gratin Provençale - alternating layers of tomato and potato (sometimes onion too) with herbs, garlic and olive oil
          Ratatouille - chopped eggplant, zucchini, tomato, bell pepper, onion, garlic, herbs and olive oil. Hot or cold.
          Soupe au pistou - minestrone-like vegetable soup flavored with pistou
          Nougat - made from almonds, hazelnuts, honey, sugar and egg whites - is everywhere here during the Christmas season. Also found in desserts year-round. Similar to turrons from Spain.
          Glace au miel or à la lavande - honey cream or lavender ice cream - sometimes both flavors ensemble
          Tourte aux noix et au miel - walnut and honey pie
          Calisson d'Aix - almond cookies flavored with melon or orange

          2 Replies
          1. re: collioure

            What's the difference between pieds et paquets à la niçoise versus a la marseillaise?

            1. re: Kurtis

              There is no such thing as pieds et paquets à la niçoise, it's a Provençal dish (based on sheep's tripe) most associated to Marseille. The tripe is packed in parcels like tripoux from the Massif Central or osbane from Tunisia, to which it is rather similar.

              The Niçois tripe dish is Tripes à la niçoise, it is loose tripe cooked in a garlic and tomato sauce, and most frequently based on veal tripe, so it is very tender. When well made (as it is at La Merenda for instance), it is fantastic.

          2. Lamb.

            Agree that pieds et paquets is a classic and probably a "should try", but I find it difficult.