5 Fabulous Food Experiences in Southern France
Southern France is known for its incredible cuisine, from refreshing Salade Niçoise to mouth-watering duck confit and aromatic herbs. But beyond tasting delicious dishes, there are also an array of unique food experiences for you to enjoy in this region.
In this blog, we’ll explore five fabulous food experiences in southern France. And, while you’re with us, please check out our range of Food Tours in Toulouse.
Take a Cooking Class in Nice with Les Petits Farcis
Meet Rosa Jackson, the culinary mastermind behind Les Petits Farcis. Before moving to France in 1995, Rosa worked as a food writer in Canada. But her passion for French cuisine and culture eventually led her to create Paris Market Tours and, later, Les Petits Farcis.
Her unique cooking classes offer a perfect blend of market visits and hands-on instruction, providing a one-of-a-kind culinary experience in the heart of Nice. With three published cookbooks and a long list of impressive publications under her belt, it’s safe to say that Rosa knows her stuff when it comes to French cuisine.
Plus, she’s even edited several editions of the TimeOut Paris Eating and Drinking Guide. Needless to say, you’re in good hands when you sign up for one of her classes.
Options range from Pastry Workshops to Market Tours + Cooking Classes.
Enjoy a Cheese & Wine Tasting in Toulouse
Looking for an intimate and unique way to explore the wonderful world of French wine while in Toulouse? Look no further than this exclusive Toulouse Wine and Cheese Tasting.
Led by a certified French Wine Scholar™ and former cheesemonger, this wine and cheese tasting is an experience not to be missed. During the two-hour tasting, you’ll learn all about France’s AOC system and the concept of terroir – a taste of place – as you sample locally-made wines from lesser-known regions of Southwest France.
Discover unique grape varieties like mauzac, negrette, tannat, and gros manseng that are rarely grown outside of this region. Plus, delve into the art of wine and cheese pairing, exploring what works, what doesn’t, and how to do it on your own.
Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, and feel free to ask as many questions as you like. And as a bonus, you’ll receive an email after the tasting with a list of the wines and cheeses tasted, along with any other recommendations or resources discussed. Get ready for an unforgettable tasting experience.
This tasting is perfect for small groups of up to eight people and is available on Saturdays from 3:30-5:30 pm (contact us for other potential days and times).
Visit the Magical Salt Flats of Gruissan
Did you know that one of the most beautiful salt flats in France is just a stone’s throw away from Narbonne, in the charming village of Gruissan? This sea salt, harvested just a few kilometers away from the Mediterranean, is unique in its pink color — a result of the algae in the water. Take a Tour of the Salt Flats and witness the mesmerizing sight of pools in varying shades of pink against the stunning backdrop of the sea.
During the tour, you’ll learn all about the salt-harvesting process, the differences between regular salt and fleur de sel, and even have the opportunity to harvest some of this precious sea salt yourself to take home.
And if you’re feeling peckish, be sure to stop by the onsite restaurant for a taste of fresh-caught seafood baked to perfection in a sea salt crust.
Participate in the Vendanges (Wine Harvest)
Get your hands dirty and participate in the centuries-old tradition of grape harvesting known as “vendanges”. If you’re in France during September or October, don’t miss the opportunity to join a group and experience the excitement of the harvest season firsthand.
Many winegrowers offer special events where you can help pick grapes, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy a well-deserved meal with the group. If you happen to be near Toulouse, head to the Fronton wine region for some of the best harvest days around.
Find out more at the website for the Tourist Grape Harvest in Fronton.
Visit the Famous Cheese Caves of Roquefort
Love cheese as much as we do? Visiting the Cheese Caves of Roquefort is a must-do for any cheese lover traveling to southern France. Roquefort cheese, named after the small town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon (pictured above), has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages.
According to legend, a shepherd left his lunch of bread and cheese in a nearby cave and returned several months later to find the cheese transformed into a delicious, moldy blue cheese. The caves in the mountains above Roquefort are a labyrinth of natural limestone caverns that provide the perfect environment for aging the cheese.
Today, the cheese-making process remains largely unchanged, and visitors to the caves can witness the ancient art of cheese-making up close. Guided tours take visitors through the damp, cool caves, where they can observe the carefully monitored cheese wheels aging to perfection. The tour also includes visiting the aging cellars and ends with a tasting of the renowned Roquefort cheese, paired with local wines and bread.
More information can be found on the websites of Les Caves Société, Roquefort Gabriel Coulet, and Roquefort Papillon.
While this ends our list of favorite food experiences to enjoy while traveling in the South of France, our blog has so much more information about food in Toulouse and what to experience while you’re here, so don’t hesitate to keep reading.
If you will be in Toulouse and would like to delve deeper into the local food scene, consider joining one of our Toulouse Food Tours. If you have any questions, please get in touch.