If there is one group of ingredients that can make or break just about any dish, it’s got to be herbs and spices. Need to add some extra flair that elevates every single existing flavor? The right mix of spices will do the trick! But mess up by adding too much of anything, and boom! Your carefully developed dish only tastes of mint now (are we projecting? Quite possibly, but still)! So, what has an unsure home-cook left to do? Well, we could always put our trust in spice mixes tried and tested by time itself! And for those of you who are thinking of dabbling in the Mediterranean cuisine, there is no better option than Herbs de Provence! In fact, if you want to go Mediterranean, there is no escaping Herbs de Provence!
What is Herbs de Provence? It’s a magical blend of dried herbs that grow in the Provence region in the south of France during the summer months. While the individual ingredients are not new to the Mediterranean (and, predominantly French) cuisine - in fact, they are essential parts of it - their combination is a relatively recent invention. These combinations had been used by French cooks for centuries without having a specific name or universally accepted ratio - that is, up until the moment Julia Child took the culinary world by storm!
Yes, it was the queen of cooking herself who introduced the US to the French Herbs de Provence back in the 1960s. Her book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was the first to coin the term Herbs de Provence in their current form and this new discovery became a subject of fascination from that point on. Once the popularity rose, it was only a matter of time before someone saw the opening in the market - in our case, it was the brand called Ducros, who began packaging and selling ready-made mixes of Herbs de Provence in the 1970s.