When we first moved to the US (10 years ago already...) we came unprepared, that is without a very essential ingredient: Herbes de Provence. Getafix (a.k.a. Panoramix, the famous druid in Asterix's village of invincible Gauls) knew better and always had mistletoe (gui) in his pockets to prepare his magic potion. Herbes de Provence must be as widely used in France as ketchup is here. They are such a great addition to any grilled meat, fish and vegetables. They flavor baked dishes as well as stews. It's just hard living without them. So we looked for Herbes de Provence in gourmet stores but at the time all we could find was a mix of herbs that didn't smell or taste anything like what we were looking for. The mixes were either very bland or had the wrong kinds of herbs – we even found a mix that had lavender flowers in it and was just unusable. So the next time we went to France we brought back a jar of the true stuff. Ten years later things might have changed but we still bring our herbs back from France and I thought I'd share what's in the mix.
Well as it turns out not all Herbes de Provence mixes are equal there either (of course!). I recently bought a fancy glass jar (Ducros Label Rouge) with herbs that are certified grown in Provence, France. The ingredient list goes as follows:
- Rosemary (romarin) – 26%
- Savory (sariette) – 26%
- Oregano (origan) – 26%
- Thyme (thym) – 19%
- Basil (basilic) – 3%
- Savory, rosemary (25%)
- Wild thyme (serpolet), marjoram (marjolaine), oregano, basil, thyme (7%)
Lastly, my Larousse de la cuisine cookbook indicates that Herbes de Provence are made of:
- thyme, rosemary, bay leaf (laurier) and savory.
[Update (04/08/2010)] Here is the official site for the "Label Rouge" certified Herbes de Provence (all in French... sorry). Also see my comment to this post.