One of the best things about summertime in Provence is the many fêtes (parties) & festivals that take place all around the region. Even though we live in a bigger town, I prefer going to festivals in smaller neighborhoods & villages. At traditional village festivals, you get the real “flavor” of summer in the south, and, as we learned at last year’s Aïoli party, you might even make a few new friends.
A sardinade is a chance for folks to get together and enjoy one of the real favorites of the season – grilled sardines. And from the looks of locals getting their rock n’ roll & Tango on into the early hours, it’s also a great excuse to indulge in a fair amount of Rosé and hang out with a few hundred of your best village friends.
Whatever the reason, I was very happy to participate in my first-ever sardinade last weekend with friends in the village of Ollioules. Since we missed getting reservations for the big “cookout” in the main square (these fêtes are très popular), our hosts proposed having our own mini-sardinade chez eux (at their home).
Suffice to say that after a hearty apéro, and a wee bit of wine, I had significantly warmed to the idea of our fish-themed dinner. In the US, my prior experience with sardines involved a few heavily-oiled fillets placed on top of my salad (and then ever so delicately removed & placed in the nearest napkin). Well, like most foods in France, the sardines we ate last Saturday night were nothing but fresh, flavorful, and miles away from what I’d imagined.
After we finished eating the sardines (and a few sneaky anchovies that made their way onto the grill), we headed down to the centreville for an evening stroll and a few turns on the dance floor. I really love this time of year and it’s been awhile since I’ve seen people really cut-loose and have that much fun, and as the French say… ça fait de bien (that does you good).
To find more fêtes & festivals in the region: Visit VarLearn more about the village of Ollioules: Tourist Office