Herbes de Provence[ PURCHASE INFO ]
Herbes de Provence: Herbes de Provence is a blend of common herbs from the Provence region in France. Provence is the southeast tip of France, bordering on Italy and encompasing the French Riviera. These tradition herbs were first combined in the 1970's, and like curries there is no set formula for blending herbes de Provence. Herbes de Provence can include any of the following herbs, or not: rosemary, lavender, basil, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf, chervil, sage, savory, fennel, oregano, dill, tarragon....pretty much anything you might find in your pantry. Herbes de Provence is traditionally used as a rub or to season meats, vegetables and fish. Lavender flowers are common in the blends of herbes de Provence you'll find here in the U.S., but traditional herbes de Provence does not typically include them. They were added to appease the tourists who identify Provence with the many fields of lavender there. Traditional herbes de Provence begins with rosemary, thyme and bay leaf, and then other available herbs are added to taste.
Herbes de Provence is popular for grilled foods, but can also be used for roasting or in soups, gravies or stews. It is rarely used as a seasoning after cooking, like salt or pepper. Cooking brings out the flavors of the herbs. In Provence where these herbs grow easily the blend can be made from fresh herbs, and used by the handful. They can be tossed on hot coals when grilling fish, meat or vegetables to add a smokey flavor. Dried herbs are equally effective and are more common in the herbs de Provence blends you'll find in the U.S.. In the fancier markets herbs de Provence is sold in clay crocks, but today for convenience it is usually sold in the spice rack right next to other common herbs.
Where to buy: Herbs