Olives from the South of France. . .Considered the gastronomic olive par excellence, the Lucques du Languedoc olive is one of the best olives available. Easily recognized by its crescent moon shape and its bright green skin, it is a large, meaty, mellow olive. These olives are produced along part of the Mediterranean coast of southern France & in Saint Remy,
a visitor can experience tours and tastings at an olive oil mill (Moulin du Calanquet) offering a chance to sample some of the world’s best pressed from olives grown in this vicinity.
What strikes me immediately about both of these areas of France is the common nature of olive trees – they grow in gardens, they grow on pavements, they grow in front of supermarkets, they grow in the middle of roundabouts….
Olive tree preserved in the middle of this town courtyard…
Above, live potted olive trees used for shade and decoration.
The potted olive trees below are products we carry at Aubergine Antiques and our Antique garden shop, RF Antiques — They are dried and preserved, but look unbelievably “real”. We sell them at a wonderful price point (around $100) and they make a beautiful “French” addition to your kitchen or outside on a bistro table.
Aubergine Antiques 251-928-0902 and RF Antiques 251-928-8336
We also carry a variety of olive wood products like: Jam spoons, lemon reamers, salt and pepper mills, olive skewers, and other kitchen items. Easy to care for: gently wash with soap and warm water and then nourish with olive oil.
SAINT REMY de PROVENCE
St Remy de Provence is found in the Alpilles region nestled between the Durance and the Rhône rivers. Here olive trees carpet the sloping hillsides.
Not only does this area have a vibrant use for growing and harvesting olives, but it has a rich artistic history. It is here that Vincent Van Gogh painted some of his last paintings such as Starry Night and Olive Trees
Vincent van Gogh, Olive trees with yellow sky and sun, 1889
A highlight of Saint-Rémy is Saint-Paul de Mausole, the monastery-turned-asylum where artist Vincent van Gogh voluntarily committed himself after cutting his ear. (New research suggests that he severed not just the earlobe but nearly the entire ear.)
Saint-Paul still functions as a psychiatric hospital, although portions are open to the public. You can visit a re-creation of his humble room, the chapel, the cloisters, and some of the grounds.
St. Remy is also known for its markets, one of the most popular on Wednesdays –vendors selling olives, breads, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, honeys, jams, meat, and fish.
A French favorite – baked bread with an olive paste spread with meat and cheeses of the region.
Enjoy olives from France and visit the Provence region if you have the chance. Quaint villages, less hurried and beautiful weather — a gastronomic adventure and enjoyment for the visual senses!