Gard’s closeness to Provence is reflected in its cuisine.
Dishes prepared ‘a la provencale’ are made with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, onions and herbs whilst those ‘a la languedocienne’ usually include tomatoes, wild mushrooms, garlic and aubergines.
Delicious honey and Nimes strawberries as well as herbs come from the garrigue.
The Mediterranean provides a tempting variety of fish from anchovies and sea bass, to salt cod.
Mixed with olive oil, milk, garlic and a little potato, the cod makes brandade de morue - served warm or cold it’s a speciality of Nimes. Nimes is also famous for its lamb, olive oil and delicious biscuits.
Enjoy nutty flavoured red rice from the Petit Camargue where fleur de sel salt is gathered. Gard is France’s prime asparagus producer - find celestine in markets from March to May. Fruit like cherries and figs is often for sale by the roadside in June, and wild mushrooms, chestnuts and walnuts arrive from the mountains in September along with rustic Reinette apples from Vigan.
Taste cheeses such as Pelardon des Cevennes - a rich goats’ cheese - with one of Gard’s Cote du Rhone wines like rose Costieres-du-Gard or Costieres-de-Nimes from vineyards of red pebbles in the domains of Beauvoisin, Gallician and Vauvert.
Try tripe - the speciality of Ales - or Anduze salami. Visit Villevieille olive oil mill at Sommieres for tastings and produce, tel: (00 33) 4 66 80 03 69, and learn the history of bee-keeping with honey-tastings and sales at La Ferme Aux Abeilles at Mejannes-les-Ales.