Herbes de Provence

Ingredients

  • Organic Savory, Organic Thyme, Organic Rosemary, Organic Basil, Organic Tarragon, Organic Lavender

Origin​

  • Country of origin differs for each spice and is listed on that ingredients page

Form

  • Cut & sifted

Certification

  • Organic, Kosher

Typical Use

  • Spring, Summer

Background

  • Herbes de Provence originated in the South East of France, which includes a vast variety of landscapes and cultural influences (think Camargue, Avignon, Marseille, Cannes, Nice, and the perfume capital Grasse). The area ranges from the high Alps, the flat Rhone delta (the Camargue), the beaches of the Cote d'Azur to the rolling hills of the old Papal city of Avignon. As diverse as the region, so is the use of the herbs that are today considered the Herbes of Provence. 

Cooking

  • Typical mixtures consist of Savory, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, and Tarragon. Including Lavender (the region is one of the biggest farming areas of lavender) adds an amazing, unique fragrance and turns it into a big crowd pleaser. Once you open the bag and use the herbs for grilled chicken, grilled seafood, or a vegetable ratatouille, we think you will come back for more.

Cultural​

  • The Herbes de Provence represent the culture of the Provence, which is distinctive from the rest of France. The region is largely agricultural as well as trading oriented through the ports of Marseille and Toulon. The language Provencal, related to Catalan (Catalonia around Barcelona) has been the primary language until the 20th century distinguishing the region from the rest of France. Nostradamus and the Marquis de Sade came from the Provence, The Popes moved the Papacy to Avignon during the 14th century and the antipopes continued to reside there during the 15th century. The Provence remained separate and only became part of France around 1500. Given that the city of Grasse has been the perfume capital of the world and that Provence is one of the biggest producers of lavender, it is natural that the beautiful and fragrant lavender flower became part of the Herbes de Provence. Even if purists would dispute that lavender is part of the herb mix, it is such a great and unique addition to the more traditional Mediterranean spices.

​Spiritual

  • The South of France was a place of religious upheaval in the early middle ages. A significant part of southern France turned into Cathars, who were a branch of the Catholic church that was violently extinguished. Unrelated, the South of France, specifically, the town of Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Camargue is today known for the annual pilgrimage of the Roma to honor Saint Sarah. The Roma are one of the two main tribes of gypsies in Europe. So while there is no direct mention by either group of the Herbes de Provence, there is a fair amount of religious and spiritual history where the Herbes de Provence originate.

Medicinal​

  • Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites. Research suggests that it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. We will lay out the medicinal benefits of the remaining herbs that make up the Herbes de Provence under the individual spice names.

Recipes

 

 

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Copyright © 2019 Five Continent Spices

Santa Cruz, CA, United States

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(408) 714-0009