Project Tapenade

Blog Provençal cuisine

One of our projects this year is to renovate a beautiful old building in our village which we are hoping will become Mirabeau’s new HQ in Spring 2014. The plan is to covert part of the building into a barrel cellar for our wines and part will become a small shop. Apart from selling wine, we plan to sell a range of locally produced food, olive oil and pottery etc. Amongst the food we are planning to sell will be tapenade. So what is tapenade?

Tapenade originates in Provence and comes from the Provençal word for capers (tapenas). That’s because tapenade is generally made of finely chopped olives, anchovies, olive oil and capers. It is usually eaten as an hors d’oeuvre with bread but can also be used for adding flavour to other dishes (lovely on fish, chicken or mixed with yoghurt and mayonnaise as a creamy dip).

We’re complete tapenade addicts in our family and this is why we are now on a tapenade-tastathon to find the best producer in Provence. We are looking not just for the very best black and green tapenades (obviously from black and green olives) but also some with some interesting additional flavours, such as sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, basil etc. And of course garlic.  This batch is from a small artisanal producer near Bandol and it was seriously good with interesting flavours, though I wouldn’t recommend it as a snack prior to a hot date or a business meeting, in spite of the health benefits of olives and garlic!

Stephen Cronk
The author: Stephen Cronk

I became captivated with the world of wine whilst on a visit to the Barossa Valley during my gap year in Australia. I went on to join a London wine merchant and studied wine for several years before starting my own wine business at 24. I sold the business aged 30 and went into Telecoms for 15 years, during which time I began cooking up the plan to create Mirabeau.

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