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PASS VERDON
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Recipes in the Verdon

​Wines of coteaux

As in many regions, the vine held an important role in agriculture and local consumption. Found on the cadastral matrices the mention of plots of vines up to Castellane. Each village in the region of the Verdon was producing wine that is mixed sometimes with water; This is the definition of the word "piquette", wine cut water. Winemaking was in small quantity and fermentation took place in large domestic vats vernises terracotta tiles, red-brown-carpeted. We still encounter these tanks in the cellars of some old houses. After the damage of the phylloxera at the end of the 19th century, most of the small local vineyards, producing a wine for home consumption, were not replanted. The rows of vines, abandoned were torn off in favor of cash crops more productive. The vine, yet once widespread on the Valensole plateau where she finds a good environment does today meet. In the Haut Var, viticulture, although less developed that she was, continues, around small cooperatives as Saint-Julien-le-Montagnier, Régusse or Quinson. It produces white, red and rosé wines under the name "Coteaux de le Var". It is pleasant and warm, essentially composed of syrah and grenache grapes table wines. Four communes in the Park enjoy also the Appellation of controlled origin "Coteaux de Pierrevert": Quinson, Saint-Laurent-du-Verdon, Gréoux-les-Bains and Saint-Martin-de-Brômes.

Specialties in Haute-Provence


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Banon cheese

“A meal without cheese is a nice which lacks an eye.” The Hauts-Provencal know well. Local cheeses are many but the most famous is that of Banon, the name of the small producer village situated north-west of Forcalquier. It is a goat cheese kept, wrapped and tied in chestnut leaves. Cheese transition, it allows local consumption during the interruption of lactation. Smooth, creamy and strong cheese lovers will certainly appreciate it.

The fougasse

It is a galette covered pounded anchovy olive oil. It is eaten as an appetizer. Before the first world war, bakers graciously offered it to the local population.Today, the Focaccia is located in most of the bakeries in the area.

The Toussaint chestnuts

In Haute Provence, we tasted chestnuts the day of the dead to prevent the dead from shoot the living by the feet. Indeed, it seems that the number of souls in purgatory who are issued is proportional to the amount of consumed chestnuts.

The raioles of the Valley of the Vaïre

It's balls stuffed pasta that reminds Italian ravioli. However, it adds to the preparation of dried, crushed and colored nuts by Saffron. It accompanies them with the bone marrow, or with pumpkin and spinach. This second recipe seems more digestible than the first.

The deli

Haute Provence is famous even today for its charcuterie. The paste of pork with Juniper, salami, sausages and ham, prepared in an artisanal way in the respect of the traditions are several generations the specialties of the country.

Lavender

Use dried or fresh (preferably wild) fine Lavender. Put a stem flower per Cup, pour boiling water and let steep for five minutes. Sweeten with honey. It is efficient and delicious.

An economic reality

If Lavender is part of the landscape of the Haute-Provence, she plays especially an important role in the agricultural economy of this region where 2000 farmers try to live despite international competition and synthetic products.
In relating a fragrant... memory and by publicizing these products of quality with his friends, the hiker will participate, at its level, to the local rural economy of this region where he made if good walk but where the maintenance of agricultural activity is particularly difficult.

Make the tapenade

Make your tapenade yourselves olives come in composition of very many recipes in Provence, without the oil which is made daily and immoderate consumption...Tapenade (topeno means caper in Provençal), the olives form the basis of the recipe. If it is made in trade, it is however not difficult to carry it out itself, according to the traditional recipe. It is most commonly done with black olives, but the recipe also applies to the green.
•    For 200 g flesh of olives, add 200 g of capers and anchovy fillets 200 g.
•    Some recipes give 100 g of anchovies and 100 g of tuna, which makes the preparation slightly less salty and more "flexible".
•    Grind the ingredients together or crush them in a mortar for a thicker tapenade. Then slightly dissolve the paste obtained with a few tablespoons of olive oil.
•    Thats all. The longest is to pit the olives. It is usually eaten on slices of toasted bread. Some recipes add to the basic ingredients a few herbs or cognac, for a more sophisticated tapenade.

Saffron milkcap and Morels

Notice to gourmets, two seasons of choice for this route. From September to October the Saffron milkcap, donations the understorey of pine, and in the spring, in March and April along trails Morel deserve that we look at their spores. To Morel, no confusion, the only difficulty being to the spot. For the Saffron milkcap, if none is really dangerous, only are interesting those whose milk is distinctly colored, orange, for the lactarius delicious, red for the lactarius sanguifluus.
•    Blood oil wash the mushrooms and cut into coarse pieces.
•    They must be well-healthy.
•    Put them in a pot with the amount of mushrooms (that is to say much more...) and make make them the water.
•    Drain them and then cover them extensively with the following mixture:-1 glass of white wine - 1 glass of vinegar - 1 cup of oil (olive... obviously)
•    Add: Garlic cloves, Juniper beans, pepper grains, salt, thyme, Laurel.
•    Bake long at little broth, uncovered.
•    Let cool, put in jars. They thus remain a year but can consume it immediately. It is often used in input with the deli.

Crouisses

Aiguines to Castellane, passing through Comps, but also to Rougon across the gorges du Verdon, the crouisses are a traditional dish of the Haut-Var that it was Christmas Eve.
Ingredients: - 500 gr of flour - 1 egg - nuts - 3 tablespoons of olive oil - water and salt.
•    Prepare a paste with 500 grams of flour, I egg a large glass of warm salt water, two tablespoons of oil.
•    Knead this preparation which must remain slightly firm. Let sit for one hour.
•    Prepare the sauce by mixing nuts very finely and adding warm water until clear sauce. Roll out the pastry and cut into squares of side 3 cm.
•    Cook about 20 minutes this pasta in boiling, salted water which you will add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
•    When the pasta is cooked, drain and cover with the preparation.

Honey, bees and lavender: the other transhumance

At the beginning of the summer, every night, the Valensole plateau anime from back and forth dozens of trucks that come unload their load of hives. The seasons beekeepers follow the blooms that extend depending on the altitude. Very honey, and originally one of the best honey, lavender is a major milestone of this transhumance. The "descent" on the coast will be for the flowering of la Bruyère (in September) or the yellow odontite (in October). The hives "Dadant" or langstroth"are equipped with wooden frames, forming as many"rays"installed vertically, that bees are going to garnish the alveoli which will host eggs, honey or pollen. A hive includes 50-80,000 bees in turn, depending on their age, assuming the duties of workers, guards and foragers. A hive produces 20 to 30 kg of lavandin honey the best years, 2 to 3 kg only, or even nothing at all, the worst. This production demand 2 to 4 litres of water per day and per hive, which requires, if the hive is too far from a water point, the installation of water fountains! No panic, bees are virtually harmless when they collect nectar wherever they are fetching water.

Quince paste

Of course there are the famous thirteen desserts of Christmas. You can find the list in all tourist guides: dried fruit, nougat, the oil pump...
Tradition, imported from the major cities of the coast, spreads as late in the Verdon. As to the variety of sweets, it was not fixed immutable way. What mattered above all it was their number: must be 13, symbol of Christ and the twelve apostles. Then for their manufacture, we took what was in the House and what had been preparing during the fall. On all the tables in the region, the Quince paste was part of these desserts, but not only at Christmas since it can be stored for a very long time...
•    Be beautiful quince, ripe yellow and "preferably wild..." Boil whole fruit, with the skin with small bruises will be taken away.
•    Put them in cold water, without covering them. When the water is boiling, counting another 5 minutes and remove the quinces. "We don't let them cool even if it burns a little fingers".
•    Cut and put quarters in a mill to vegetables after removing the seeds and the heart of the fruit.
•    Weigh accurately the puree obtained and him add exactly the same weight of sugar. "This is not jam! For Jam, a little more, a little less sugar is the same thing. Quince cheese is more difficult".
•    Back on the fire and turn without stopping. "Caution it can burn!"
•    When it is boiling reduce heat but still allow 10 to 15 minutes.
•    Remove from heat and pour the batter in plates or ramekins on a thickness of two or three centimeters.
•    Wait a few days that it solidifies.
 

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