The olive of Provence A culinary and cultural journey

In the south, cuisine is an intoxicating symphony where olive oil reigns as the star. Anchoïade, tapenade, aïgo boulido, duck with olives – so many delights that celebrate this millennia-old fruit. The olive is more than just an ingredient: it’s a true living heritage.

In the Provençal landscape, majestic olive trees stand tall, silent witnesses to centuries of agriculture. From the Greeks to the Romans, from the Berbers to the Provençals, all have honored this sacred tree, extracting from its precious fruits the very essence of Mediterranean life. Present in the Mediterranean basin for over 60,000 years, the olive is at the heart of a centuries-old tradition.


The varieties of olives number in the tens. From the small niçoise to the black Nyons olive, passing through the broken green olives of Les Baux-de-Provence, each possesses its unique characteristics and reveals a history and a terroir. Olive groves mainly produce for AOC Provence olive oil, distinguishing varieties such as Aglandau, Bouteillan, Cayon, and Salonenque. Provence, blessed land of olive trees, proudly displays its status as the leading French producer. Its landscapes immortalized by artists like Van Gogh celebrate the majestic silhouette of these emblematic trees, which have become true symbols.

At the heart of this culinary excitement, olive oil stands out as a treasure of health and well-being. Revered for its nourishing and medicinal virtues since antiquity, it remains the essential element of the Cretan diet.

But the olive is also a story of craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation. In the cooperative mills of Provence, artisans perpetuate with love the ancestral ritual of olive oil production. At the Mouriès mill, 450 olive producers cultivate according to traditional methods to extract AOC Vallée des Baux olive oil.

At the heart of this saga, a small black olive stands out: the Grossane, pride of the Vallée des Baux-de-Provence. It reveals all its splendor in the delights concocted by the famous confiserie Jean Martin. From Gran’Draille to black tapenade, these creations embody the very essence of Provence.

An invitation to discover and savor the sunny soul of this elixir.