All the warmth, colour and fragrances of Provencal cooking can be found in the regional cuisine of Bouches-du-Rhone.
Dishes prepared a la provencale are made with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, onions, herbs and perhaps aubergines. Look for slow heart-warming stews such as estouffade and daube based on mutton or beef to enjoy with AOC wines from Les Baux, Cassis and Coteaux d’Aix en Provence.
Fish is found on many menus. Watch freshly landed rascasse (scorpion fish) being sold at quai des Belges in Marseille - an essential ingredient of the soup flavoured with saffron and garlic, known as bouillabaisse. Then try a bowl of the city’s signature soup or take a glass of aniseed flavoured pastis and some olives at one of the many cafes and restaurants near the old port.
Arles is known for its saucisson (dry sausage) and country hams. Almonds and glaced fruits are produced in Bouches-du-Rhone and the popularity of pizzas shows an Italian influence.
Round off a meal with Brousse du Rove speciality cheese made near Marseille or some callisons, little boat-shaped honey and almond paste sweets from Aix-en-Provence. Visit the large Provencal produce markets in Aix-en-Provence held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to be immersed in the sights, perfumes and colours of the region’s gastronomic heritage.