From sake to Mexican salsas, condiments have a way to concentrate and reveal the culinary personality of a country. Another good example of this phenomenon is aioli. This Mediterranean garlic sauce that has come to represent the soul of Provence, the historical and cultural region in Southeastern France.
A Condiment Worthy of a Poet
If you have a hard time believing that a condiment can be so important, consider the following story. Frédéric Mistral was Nobel laureate poet and a defender of Occitan, the language spoken in Provence. When in 1891 Mistral set out to create a newspaper to promote Occitan culture, he needed a title that reflected the true character of Provence. What name did he choose? “L’Aiòli.”
The following quote is attributed to Mistral. It’s unclear whether these are actually his words, but they do reflect the feelings that Aioli can inspire. “Around the divine aioli, oily and tan like a gold thread, where are, I ask, the men who do not regard each other as brothers?”
The name of this sauce comes from two Occitan words. “Ai” means “garlic: and “oli” means “oil”. These are also the two main ingredients of aioli along with eggs and spices.
There are two ways to serve aioli. It can be consumed as an everyday condiment and as what the French call “grand aioli,” which you see only two or three times a year. “Grand aioli” is a dish where aioli is surrounded by poached cod, beef, boiled vegetables, escargots (edible snails), and boiled eggs.
Aioli is also popular in Spain, where it’s known under many names that reflect both the linguistic variety of that country and the love that aioli inspires: “allioli” in Catalan, “ajolio” in Aragón, “ajiaceite” in Castilian.
Interested in Condiments? Learn More!
If you want to learn more about famous condiments, you’re in the right place. You may like to take a look at our previous posts about the tangy Argentinian chimichurri, the revered Italian Marinara sauce, Saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, or an all-time classic: Mustard!
Try Our Cheese-Stuffed Beef Patty With Garlic Aioli!
At Chef Gourmet we are big fans of this Mediterranean sauce. So much so that we have decided to include Cheese-Stuffed Beef Patty with Aioli among our Gourmet Prepared Meals. Order online or call today (1-888-536-5269)!
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