{Edible Cities} Provence, with Ann, author, writer and blogger

{Edible Cities} Provence, with Ann Mah, author, writer and blogger

Meet Ann Mah, an author, writer and blogger currently living in Paris. I have long admired Ann’s writing, ever since I read her first book, Kitchen Chinese. I soon became a regular visitor on her blog, on which she chronicles her life in Paris and around the world. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, the International Herald Tribune and many other renowned publications. Ann also has a new book coming out in the spring of 2013 called Mastering the Art of French Eating, a quest to travel through France and discover the country’s best regional dishes. Here’s Provence, in her own words.

My Edible City Region

Ann Mah, author, writer and blogger

Provence. For six years, my life has been enriched by summer holidays in Provence. I love the sharp light, the intense heat, the scent of lavender that drifts through the windows of our rental car. But most of all I love the produce, the markets that spill with bright-skinned, sun-warmed fruits and vegetables, the speckled beans and mint-scented tomatoes, the bouquets of basil and fuzzy stone fruits (best eaten, dripping, over the sink). The markets rotate every day through the region’s villages, so in the morning I like to explore different hill-top towns with my wicker basket in hand. Afternoons are spent by the pool. And in the evening, when the light begins to soften, it’s time to drink chilled rosé and cook all the beautiful things I purchased in the morning.

My Favorite Dish

Soupe au pistou, Ann's favorite dish in Provence.

Soupe au pistou. It seems so simple, just a vegetable soup, kind of like minestrone, nothing special. But a few years ago, I helped cook soup for over 200 people, for the annual summer fête in Bonnieux, the village where we used to stay. The best soupe au pistou is made with summer’s bounty of shell beans, courgettes, tomatoes, green beans — all grown locally. It’s laced with pistou, the Provençal version of pesto, which marries the vegetables and scents them with a heady perfume. I rose before dawn to help a team of intrepid volunteers chop and peel over 200 pounds of vegetables — it was an experience that forever sealed my love for this classic Provençal dish (and one I wrote about in my new book on French regional cuisine).

Useful Links

Next Week on Edible Cities

Next week, Dan Clapson, a writer, recipe writer and blogger living in Calgary, is taking us to Saskatoon, Canada. Don’t miss it!

Photo credits: All pictures by Ann Mah.

What do you think of this recipe? Got any questions? Let's chat!

5 Responses to {Edible Cities} Provence, with Ann, author, writer and blogger

  1. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long
    comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

  2. I had no idea Ann made the soup for so many people! I don’t believe I’ve actually had it *shame face* so I think it’s time I change that! Great little interview with one of my favorites.

    • I have yet to enjoy it in Provence too! But I’ve made David Lebovitz’ version many times at home, it’s actually one of my favorites. The spoonful of pistou changes everything!

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