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La ratatouille Nicoise

November 7, 2011

Ratatouille Nicoise

Ratatouille concentrates all the sun of Provence: eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions and garlic mix their flavors to compose a dish almost fruity. Accompanied by a crusty baguette, this recipe is a summer light meal.

What could be more evocative of traditional splendor of Mediterranean cuisine as ratatouille? Ratatouille is a stew of vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers) cooked separately or together in olive oil. We add the garlic, olives (ratatouille), sometimes onions that define the gypsy Languedoc. The ratatouille is widespread all around the Mediterranean. Thus the Sicilian caponata, dear to the Commissioner Montalban, hero of the novels of Andrea Camillieri, add mushrooms, olives and celery, all deglazed with a little vinegar.

Originally, the word ratatouille was first designated in 1778 as a rough stew, a crude mixture or a beating. Its abbreviation rata appointed to the late nineteenth century, in military slang, a mixture of beans and potatoes, then a mixture of vegetables and meat. Only in the twentieth century, the word ratatouille has come to mean that we know.

If the name of the dish is fresh, the dish is older, but what it really?
It is fun to take one by one the components of ratatouille and determine their origin:
– Eggplant is a vegetable who comes from India, and has appeared in France the sixteenth century, when he was considered a poisonous ornamental plant.

– The tomato comes from pre-Columbian America, from Mexico, brought to Europe in the sixteenth century, who was then the tomato the size of cherry tomatoes from our current, did slowly spread in our country: it only arrived in Paris that the Revolution with the Marseilles volunteers (with the Marseillaise). It will be cooked under the arcades of the royal palace in the famous restaurant of the Executive, the “Brothers of Provence” and at the time of Brillat Savarin, the Restoration, it was still used to color in red sauces.
– Zucchini is of U.S. origin. Indeed, only one of the gourds, melons and cucumbers are from the Old World. We did long served as squash. Zucchini squash are picked before maturity, the first meaning of the word dates from 1929.


Reflets de France is offering the Ratatouille Nicoise, if you live in Hong Kong you can buy it online on our website:

Ratatouille Reflets de France

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