Provence is one of the most popular tourist regions in Southern France and the rich landscape yields a bountiful supply of delicious food and wines. La Gourmet Box have selected some of the best artisan producers from this area and compiled a special Provence box for all French gourmet lovers to enjoy, and I have to say, this is one of my favourite boxes from La Gourmet Box!
All of the boxes are shipped from the mainland directly to the UK via courier, with all of the items being packaged carefully to ensure that everything arrives in perfect condition. The boxes are big and sturdy so it always feels like such a substantial gift when one arrives, and the little extras such as the picture perfect postcards and the cute little ‘Bon Voyage’ sign are lovely finishing touches.
Inside the Provence box, I found eight gourmet French food and drink products:-
Ferry Lacombe Haedus Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016 (75cl)
Each of the La Gourmet Boxes comes with a bottle of wine and I was very pleased to see this beautiful bottle of Rosé in this Provence box. This wine is made by the Château Ferry Lacombe vineyards using sustainable agriculture and I just absolutely love the pale pink colour of it. This Cuvée Haedus is a full-bodied wine and slightly stronger to most Rosé’s that I’m used to, but it’s absolutely delicious! It’s very fruity with notes of Peach and Pear, and it has a lovely and refreshing citrusy aftertaste. The perfect wine to dine al fresco with this summer, or just enjoy a chilled glass or two at the end of a long day.
Domaine de Beaujeu Organic Camargue Red Rice (500g)
Made by Beaujeu who are the only farm in all of Camargue that still uses local agricultural methods, it was one of the first farming areas to receive its certificate of organic agriculture back in 1974 and has been farming in this way ever since. I hadn’t tried red rice until now, and this one is quite a famous variety for the region as the grains are laid out to dry in the Mediterranean sun and are only harvested once the rice is fully ripe. It has a similar taste and texture to wholegrain rice, but there is a subtle unique nutty flavour which is really nice to have alongside any meat or veggie dish.
Les Jardins de Cidamos Caviar d’ aubergine (180g)
Whilst traditional caviar is popular throughout France, this homemade aubergine caviar by Les Jardins de Cidamos offers an interesting and tasty alternative for vegetarians. It tastes like a savoury veggie puree but a little thicker in texture and goes well with crackers and toast. A delicious discovery!
La Compagnie des Bocaux Houmous de Betteraves (140g)
On the label, this jar of houmous proudly displays its French artisan roots and I was pleased to see that this product is also organic as well. I’m a huge fan of houmous, but I’ve never tried one blended with Beetroots before (there’s also some Tahini, Cilantro, Lemon Juice, Garlic, AOP Baux de Provence Olive Oil, Camargue Salt and Cumin in this mixture too). It tastes very fresh and the earthiness of the Beetroots adds a wonderful rich flavour to it. I’ve been enjoying using this as a dip with some fresh veggies like carrots, celery and cucumber for a healthy snack, and it’s great in sandwiches for something different.
Mas de l’Ange Olivange Verte (90g)
Continuing this gourmet journey through Provence, it was a delight to experience an ‘olivange’ which is a Green Olive Tapenade made with a blend of Olive Oil, Capers, Garlic, Basil and finely minced Olives. The Olives in this tapenade are grown in the Vallée des Baux de Provence AOP and carry a protected status. They’re harvested by hand when they’re perfectly ripe, and they’re processed locally to keep them as fresh as possible. The result is a tasty tapenade full of flavour and it’s delicious with a cheese plate or some fresh veggie crudites – I really loved this one!
Biscuiterie Orsoni Fantasies Savoury Basil and Rosemary Biscuits (250g)
Savoury herby biscuits aren’t that easy to find here in the UK (the trend here is more for crackers I find), so it was a treat getting to try these little French biscuits which are made from only natural ingredients such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil and Rosemary. They are seriously moreish and perfect to dip into the likes of the Beetroot Houmous, which you can see above. A snack made in heaven!
Christophe et Eric Calissoun Calissons d’ Aix (8 pieces)
No Provence gourmet food box would be complete without a selection of Provence’s famed Calissons. These traditional French sweet treats are a much-loved delicacy and are made from finely ground Almonds and Provence’s famous Melon and candied Orange Peel are blended, spread on a wafer and topped with a crunchy layer of Royal Icing. They’re wonderfully sweet, fruity and unlike anything that you can find in the UK – a real French treat.
Au Moulin Bleu Black Nougat en Papillote (5 pieces)
The last product that I found in the Provence box was another French sweet treat, this time a black nougat that’s made by artisans, Au Moulin Bleu. These are made to a traditional old-fashioned recipe using copper pots, and this ‘black’ nougat is noticeably darker than its more common counterpart due to the absence of egg yolks in the recipe. It’s very sweet and crunchy like Honey and Almond Brittle, and it’s difficult not to eat them all in one go!