Behind the Scenes in Provence

Provence Confidential has been blogging about restaurant launches, cooking classes, food festivals, Provençal wines and spirits as well as tradition and folklore since 2008.

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Superfine

Superfine

Carding or cardage in French is the process of brushing fibers to prepare them as textiles. It’s no surprise therefore that many towns in Provence, which has been sheep ridden since the Romans, have a street called rue des cardeurs or place des cardeurs.

Red Coral

Red Coral

Red coral or precious coral is still harvested throughout the Mediterranean Sea at depth of 30 metres or below.  Jewellery of all shapes and sizes has been made using coral since antiquity.

Operation Anvil

Operation Anvil

Just in time to commemorate the allied invasion of Provence, the U.S.S. Annapolis has arrived in the Port of Toulon. Operation Dragoon originally called Anvil (the southern counterpart to Operation Overlord) www.operationdragoon.com took place on August 15, 1944 with allied landings on beaches all along the coast between Toulon and Cannes.

It's Christmas Time all Over the World

It's Christmas Time all Over the World

It's that festive time of year again and the streets of many European cities from Paris to  St. Petersburg are all equipped with lights manufactured right here in Provence. If you have seen how remarkable the Champs Elysées looks before Christmas it's all thanks to the designers at Blachere Illumination in Apt.

Galette des Rois

Galette des Rois

The Fête des Rois (or Festival of Kings) takes place on the 12th day after Christmas and is known as the Epiphany. In France the tradition is marked by a dessert known as the Galette des Rois or King's Cake which is sold with a paper crown.

Cool House

Cool House

Provence was dotted with ice houses that produced and stored giant cubes of ice needed in city centers to store perishable goods.The Glacière de Pivaut located in Mazauges at the foot of the Sainte Baume mountain pictured above was fully functional until the late 1780s and recently restored. Like it’s counterparts it was built on an incline so as to be able to load on one end while taking ice out from another.

Coeur de Lavandes

Coeur de Lavandes

You can spot these lovely lavender wands for sale on a few markets in Provence and in the Alpes de Hautes Provence. By weaving different colour ribbons through freshly cut lavender that remains malleable these hand-made objects are both beautiful and useful.

Provençal Pottery

Provençal Pottery

Every village in Provence has a shop that sells locally made pottery. But if you’d like to know more about how they are made and the origins of the shapes and colours, there are 3 manufacturers worth visiting.

Passédat on Thalassa

Passédat on Thalassa

Gerald Passédat, 3 star Michelin chef of Le Petit Nice and a Marseille native, will be featured on the next episode of Thalassa on Friday April 12th on France 3 TV.

Passédat will share his passion for the Deep Blue which is his source of endless inspiration thanks to the wealth the Mediterranean has to offer. His cuisine is not just an appetizer, main course and dessert. Like scuba diving his cuisine progressively immerses people into a new world. Every year over 65 varieties of fresh fish are prepared in such a way as to magnify their vivacious taste.