Introduction: Cuisine on the French Riviera
When we go on holiday, one of the delights of a foreign vacation is the local food. Even the Brits will try foreign food (although tradition says we just fish ‘n chips or curries!). So will we like the Cuisine on the French Riviera?
WikiTravel has an interesting article on the French Riviera, and they list typical dishes from the area:
Cafés, bars and restaurants are available to meet almost all price-points and most tastes, however the vast majority of eateries serve food local to the area – that is to say Provençal cuisine with influences from Italy. Pizza restaurants are ubiquitous here but the pizza is not at all the typical American style as pizzas normally have a very thin base. Many pizzas are served with a few olives on top unless you explicitly request their absence and it is normal to add a spicy olive oil based dressing – “sauce pimente” – before eating.
French Riviera Cuisines
Asian cuisine – Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese etc. is available but is not common outside the main seaside towns and it can be very hard to get the ingredients yourself although there are specialty stores in Cannes and Nice. Many Asian restaurants offer a multitude of Asian cuisines (e.g. Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese) and the food is rarely spicy unless you specifically request it to be so.
Bouillabaisse and Salade Niçoise are perhaps the best known local specialties although there are others such as Socca. The mountainous back country makes a number of (mostly goat or sheep) cheeses which are usually available in local supermarkets as well as at market stalls. The Riviera has a number of olive oil mills and a lot of olive trees.
Most supermarkets are open Monday-Saturday from approx 9am-8pm and, particularly in the summer, some are also open on Sunday mornings. Most towns have markets which typically operate in the morning and early afternoon of a particular day or days to sell fresh produce. Most towns and villages also have a number of bakeries which generally open from around 6 or 7am every morning as well as butchers, fish-mongers and so on.
Video: French Riviera Restaurant