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Discover Cassis and the secrets of bouillabaisse : a Provençal adventure

Hello everyone. My name is Julia. I come from England. Today I'm taking you with me to share my first experience in Cassis, a beautiful Provençal village. Accompanied by Virginie, we followed the coastal roads offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, to reach this little piece of paradise nestled between the green hills and the sparkling waters.


Discover Cassis and the secrets of bouillabaisse : a Provençal adventure
Virginie and I in the boat in Cassis in Provence

1/ First visit to Cassis, a lovely village in Provence


As I was saying you, with Virginie, we discovered Cassis, a lovely little village in Provence. Cassis is hidden between beautiful hills near the sea. To get to Cassis, we took a road along the sea.


The view was incredible: the blue sea on one side and the hills on the other. Once we arrived in Cassis, Virginie suggested we explore the Calanques. I didn't know what a Calanque was.


So, she took the time to explain it to me. We talked as we headed towards the port of Cassis.


Discover Cassis and the secrets of bouillabaisse : a Provençal adventure
The harbor of Cassis in Provence

2/ The calanques of Cassis : a natural treasure


a. What is a Calanque?


That’s a real question and the first one I asked Virginie.


Imagine small beaches hidden between large cliffs. That's what a Calanque is. The Calanques stretch for 20 kilometers between the cities of Marseille and Cassis, on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.


They are part of a large national park and are visited by millions of people each year. The Calanques are a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.


Discover Cassis and the secrets of bouillabaisse : a Provençal adventure
The Calanques of Cassis in Provence

b. Our boat trip in the Calanques


With Virginie, we took a boat to see the Calanques up close.


We saw the first three Calanques: Port Miou, Port Pin, and En-Vau. It was beautiful! The water was very clear, and the rocks were very impressive. After the boat ride, we were a little hungry.


So, we looked for a restaurant for lunch.


Discover Cassis and the secrets of bouillabaisse : a Provençal adventure
In front of the harbor of Cassis in Provence

3/ Delights of Cassis harbor: bouillabaisse in the heart of Provence


Drawn by the scents of the harbor, we settled in a restaurant facing the sea. There, we savored a local specialty: bouillabaisse.


a. What is Bouillabaisse?


Bouillabaisse is more than just a fish soup; it is an iconic dish of Mediterranean cuisine, especially from Provence and the city of Marseille. It consists of rockfish, shellfish, tomatoes, onions, garlic, Provence herbs, and is served with rouille, a sauce made from mayonnaise, garlic, and saffron, accompanied by slices of toasted bread.


b. The history of Bouillabaisse


The origin of bouillabaisse dates back several centuries, where it was the meal of Marseille fishermen. They prepared this dish with fish they could not sell, often those too small or less known. Today, bouillabaisse has become a symbol of Provençal gastronomy, celebrated well beyond the borders of France.


Discover Cassis and the secrets of bouillabaisse : a Provençal adventure
Tasting of a bouillabaisse in Cassis in Provence

4/ Exploring Cassis: between nature and gastronomy


Cassis represents the perfect union between breathtaking natural landscapes and a rich culinary tradition. The Calanques offer an escape into a world of tranquility and natural beauty, while bouillabaisse invites to a memorable taste journey.


With Virginie, each discovery turns into a lesson in history, culture, and gastronomy, making every moment spent in Provence absolutely magical.


Discover Cassis and the secrets of bouillabaisse : a Provençal adventure
The lighthouse of Cassis in Provence

5/ Vocabulary on Provence in French and English


Provence = Provence

A hill = une colline

The sea = la mer

A road = une route

A view = une vue

The harbor = le port

A Calanque = une Calanque

A national park = un parc national

A boat = un bateau

Water = l'eau

A rock = un rocher

A restaurant = un restaurant

Bouillabaisse = bouillabaisse

A fish soup = une soupe de poissons

A crustacean = un crustacé

A tomato = une tomate

An onion = un oignon

Garlic = de l'ail

Provence herbs = des herbes de Provence

Rouille = rouille (a type of sauce)

Toasted bread = du pain grillé

A fisherman = un pêcheur

Gastronomy = la gastronomie


6/ Inspiring return from the calanques


Our enriching day concluded with the return from our exploration of the Calanques, our hearts and minds filled with wonderful memories. The experience, enhanced by Virginie's presence and knowledge, made this trip unforgettable.


If Provence calls you, do not miss meeting Virginie. She will guide you through the wonders of this region, helping you discover its natural and cultural heritage, its exceptional cuisine, all while helping you practice French.


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