Congratulations to the winner of the giveaway,
Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living (Agate Surrey, 2014) is much more than a cookbook. It is a beautifully illustrated travelogue chronicling the closely intertwined land and lifestyle of Provence.
Sitting on the Mediterranean in Southern France and bordering Italy, this region is known throughout the world for its rich culinary history and traditions as well as its rosé wines. It includes the beautiful beaches of Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Nice; vibrant cities like Marseille; and the small towns, villages, and sprawling fields nestled within the hillsides. The sunny, dry climate is perfect for the cultivation of the lavender that colors the ground, which is both harvested and distilled for the perfume industry and used as an ingredient in Provencal cuisine.
The authors explain what sets the food of Provence apart from other regions in France:
Provence deviates from traditional French cuisine in that it’s based on olive oil and makes ample use of fresh fruits, vegetables and pasta. In that respect, it’s very much aligned with the Mediterranean Diet that is so well known for its health benefits.
The book is divided into three sections. The first explores the culture of the region. The second focuses on the wines of Provence and explains how its terroir (the interplay of soil, geography, climate and human know-how) is expressed in its pale dry but fruity wines. It also suggests food and wine pairings.
The heart of the book, however, is in the last section that organizes 50 recipes according to location. The mouth-watering recipes brought back memories of my own travels through the region. The book includes simple recipes that can easily be replicated by a home cook (like creamy polenta and bouillabaisse) to ones that are probably best to sample in restaurants (e.g. wild boar stew).
I wish I had read this book before my trips because I would have been a more educated and informed traveler. If you have already traveled to Provence, many of the recipes will bring back memories of places and tastes. Two of my favorites were the recipes for tarte tropezienne, the signature custard cakes of Saint-Tropez, and the tarte au citron (lemon tart) so popular along the French Riviera. Although I’m a dessert addict rather than a baker, I’m tempted to take a stab at them.
This paperback book (also available in a Kindle edition) is a collaboration between Viktorija Todorovska, a chef, cookbook author, and food and wine educator based in Chicago—and photographer and author François Millo, who lives in France and is director of the Provence Wine Council.
Interested in receiving a copy of Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living? Leave a comment below.
The publisher (Agate Publishing) has agreed to mail a copy of the book to one lucky reader of More Time to Travel.
For a chance to win, leave a brief comment below telling one reason why you would like to visit Provence.
The contest ends at midnight EST on June 15, 2014. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced here. (Sorry, this offer is limited to U.S. mailing addresses only.)
Disclosure: We were provided with a sample of this book for review but any opinions expressed in this post are our own.