Top 5 Must Try Southern French Foods

Top 5 must-try foods of Southern France

It is a well-known fact, the French love their food. Food phrases weave into everyday vocabulary so effortlessly that a little chat is enough to make you crave a bowl of warm onion soup with a side of crusty bread. If you ask the French why they make a ‘whole cheese about it’, you’re likely to be asked to ‘mind your own onions’ or maybe, told to ‘go and cook yourself an egg’. But let’s not ‘break sugar on their backs’, after all the ‘Gastronomic Meal of the French’ is part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.
On your Emerald Waterways cruise to South of France, on board the custom-built Star-Ship – Emerald Liberté, you will have several opportunities to indulge in the cherished cuisine of French dining. For a quick guide on French foods to try, here are our top five favourites:  

1. Soupe au Pistou (Pistou Soup)

A simple and healthy food, the pistou soup originated in Provence and is made with a variety of fresh and colourful seasonal vegetables. Beans, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, and tomatoes are cooked in stock to which pasta is added, and the soup is finally topped with a generous amount of pistou – a flavourful sauce made with basil, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and at times, cheese. 
Soupe au Pistou

2. Gateau des Rois

Gateau des Rois translates to ‘king’s cake’, named in honour of the three kings who came to visit baby Jesus. Another Provençal delicacy, the Gateau des Rois is a round crumbly pastry layered with frangipane – a sweet paste made with almonds. You’re most likely to find bakeries stocked with the cake (with a paper crown on top) in January to celebrate the Epiphany. Watch out for the fèves or little king and queen figurines hidden inside the tarts. As per tradition, whoever finds the fève in their cake slice is crowned the king or queen for a day.
Gateau des Rois

3. Truffles

On your Emerald Waterways cruise through Tournus, you will have the fun opportunity to hunt for rare French truffles with a local farmer. To put simply, truffles are fungi that grow underground. They have come to be known as ‘black diamonds’ due to their price tag and because they’re a tad hard to grow and harvest. The taste of these prized mushrooms can best be described as umami, a garlicky flavour accompanied by an earthy, musky aroma.

4. Provençal Beef Daube 

This classic French stew is made with braised beef, red wine, vegetables and herbes de Provence – a mix of dried herbs from the Provence region, including rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender. The delectable concoction is served topped with cheese with a side of bread, or ladled over a plate of pasta. 
Provençal Beef Daube

5. Escargots au Beurre Persillé (Herb Buttered Snails)

While the name might not seem appetising to everyone, herb buttered snails are a French cuisine must-try. The Burgundy snails are first stewed in bouillon, and then baked with a delicious garlic, butter and parsley sauce. Served in their shells, the escargots are eaten with a skewer. 
Escargots au Beurre Persillé (Herb Buttered Snails)
ERC 2022 Brochure

France Tours