Provencal Delicacies

French Buche de Noel

As with many celebrations in France, a large emphasis during Christmas is put on food.

But you can forget roast turkey and Christmas pudding if you are spending the festivities in one of our St Tropez House luxury villas this year – unless of course you have brought a few treats from home in your suitcase.

France – and Provence in particular – has its own gastronomic traditions our favourites of which are noted below. Should you wish to stick to your own particular traditions, however, during your holiday in one of our St Tropez House luxury properties, we can help you find whatever your heart desires.

  • Christmas Eve Supper – Le Réveillon

The most significant meal over Christmas in France is held on the eve of December 24th. Family members begin the evening with an entrée of seven very plain dishes which symbolise the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary. The dishes usually exclude meat but often include shellfish and seafood. The next course will be a meat of some kind and while turkey is sometimes served, most families choose goose or capon.

  • The 13 Desserts

The meal is followed by the 13 desserts, which signifies the 13 participants at the Last Supper and traditionally should be eaten after Midnight Mass.  The ingredients of this Provencal dessert can vary from house to house, but they tend to fall into three categories: Mendicants, fruit and local sweetmeats. Typical components include dried figs, raisins, hazelnuts, black and white nougats, apples, mandarins and pears.  The dish should also contain a pompe à l’huile – sweet bread made of olive oil and orange flower water.

  • Buche de Noel

No home should be complete without a Christmas log – known in France as a Buche de Noel. This chocolate sponge dessert with rich icing replaces the British Christmas pudding, and can be found in almost every patisserie up and down the country if you can’t face making your own. There are also non chocolate varieties for those who prefer vanilla. Either way, they are délicieux.