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The Story of Herbes de Provence

There are several herb blends that are considered traditional and have a long history in French cuisine. Herbes de Provence is not one of those blends!

It is true that throughout the Provence region of France, herbs such as tarragon, thyme, savory, basil, and fennel are often picked wild, dried, and then combined in various combinations while cooking. And although different households may have combined and stored some of those together, Herbes de Provence is really an American invention.

Miss Julia Childs herself was the first one to use Herbes de Provence to mean a specific blend of dried herbs. In 1961, her recipe for Poulet Sauté Aux Herbes de Provence in the cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking called for a dried herb combination of thyme, savory, basil, and ground fennel. What did she call this herb blend?

Yup, you guessed it! Herbes de Provence!

In the 1970s, the French Spice Company Ducros, brought together the first Herbes de Provence to sell commercially–especially to American tourists visiting France. The French version of Herbes de Provence has never contained lavender. In the United States, lavender is added as a tribute to the fields of lavender the region of Provence is known for.

What is the Herbes de Provence Recipe?

Like many iconic spice and herb blends, Herbes de Provence does not have one specific recipe. SpiceTopia’s Herbes de Provence is blended in-house with organic savory, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and lavender flowers. It is a fat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, salt-free, organic, and vegan herb blend.

What Does Herbes de Provence Taste Like?

Many say that Herbes de Provence tastes like the Mediterranean!

Each of the herbs in this blend have notes that combine and complement each other. Rosemary’s evergreen flavor is said to have notes of lavender while thyme’s unique flavor is earthy with notes of rosemary. Savory adds a robust, peppery flavor. Lavender has a slightly floral flavor with an earthy slightly minty flavor similar to notes found in rosemary.

However one describes the flavor of Herbes de Provence, it’s a flavor that comes alive with heat and olive oil!

Herb de Provence Uses

Once you try this blend, you’ll want to add it many recipes

  • A simple bread dip: Gently heat 1 cup of your favorite olive oil (we love to use our Arbequina Extra-Virgin Olive Oil grown in Yolo, California). Add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of Herbes de Provence. Use to dip your favorite crusty bread!

  • Heat a can of white beans. Drizzle with olive oil and add a tablespoon of Herbes de Provence. Serve with your favorite grilled meat.

  • Sprinkle over your favorite oven fries. Add a bit of grated Parmesan Cheese.

  • Season grilled fish. Coat fish in olive oil, season with salt and Herbes de Provence before grilling.

  • Flavor a simple vinaigrette with Herbes de Provence and use to dress grilled green beans or summer squash.

Our favorite way to grill with Herbes de Provence is to sprinkle the herbs onto the coals of your grill to flavor the smoke.

If you enjoyed learning about Herbes de Provence, SpiceScription might be for you! It’s a monthly subscription featuring one spice each month with exclusive recipes that will help you learn to bring the featured flavors into your kitchen!


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