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Specialities of the south of France

What are the culinary specialities of the south of France? What do les sudistes eat and drink more of than other regions of France?

I know very little about food apart from that it’s good to eat, so I recently sat down with my friend Loïc, a born and raised sudiste from Alès to find out!

If you prefer to listen to our entire conversation (en français) in which we talk about perceptions of the south of France, Loïc’s very distinctive accent, and sports, as well as la gastronomie, check out the video below.

Dish: La gardiane de taureau

A slow-cooked meat dish from La Camargue region made with bull-meat and served with du riz camarguais.

Cooked in a sauce over several hours and served with vegetables, the meat becomes extremely tender and succulent in the mouth.

A favourite of Loïc and a lot of French people!

Gardiane de Taureau image

Dish: La tielle

Image of a Tielle

If it were the UK, I’d say une tielle – or une tielle sétoise – were a French savoury pie, but the French don’t really have a direct translation for pie.

I do a better job of explaining it in French in the YouTube video above but essentially that’s what it is.

Often filled with seafood, since it comes from the coastal town of Sète, home of famous French author and composer Georges Brassens, and a tomatoey sauce, it is a favourite of many people in this part of the world, and you’ll find them in most supermarkets and markets.

Dish: La bouillabaisse

Another slow-cooked saucy dish, this time made with mediterrannean fish, seafood and mussels.

It comes from Marseille, a huge city in the south of France famous for its beautiful calanques (coves).

Bouillabaisse image

Drink: Le pastis

Image of a Pastis Piscine

I find people either love or hate le pastis.

It’s a bitter, aniseed-based alcoholic drink served with water that people who enjoy it find completely refreshing, particularly when served with a generous amount of ice.

Whilst ordering one at a bar you would ask for un jaune due to its yellow colour, this frosty variation is aptly called Un Piscine (Un because it’s Un pastis, rather than Une piscine for a swimming pool).

Loïc told me that if you want one that’s heavy on the pastis, light on the water, it’s called Un yaourt.

If you turn it upside down and it doesn’t fall out, you’ve got a good yaourt, hehe.

Want to hear about it in more details?

And practise your French listening at the same time? I highly recommend you check out our full conversation on YouTube.

Do you know much about the specialities of the south of France? What do you like about it?

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