The Marseille bouillabaisse is definitely a gem of the traditional Southern France cooking. This Provencal fish stew used to be a main dish for poor people, commonly cooked by fishermen's wives with the leftovers of the catch. Nowadays, the bouillabaisse from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region has become a reference of the French gastronomy.
According to the Provencal tradition, an authentic Marseillaise bouillabaisse should include at least five different kinds of sea fish, from haddock and cod to perch and bass - without forgetting shellfish! This French regional fish soup from Provences Alpes Cote d'Azur actually implies only one restriction, to cook extremely fresh fishes. Once you match this requirement, any combination is acceptable!
Marseille's bouillabaisse is originally cooked with scorpionfish, sea robin and European conger. All the fresh fishes are then stewed with vegetables and shellfish (mussels, crab, octopus, among others) and flavoured with a variety of Provencal herbs and spices such as garlic, basil, bay leaf, fennel and saffron.
In many restaurants of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, this traditional fish stew is served in a typical Provencal pot, with rouille and / or Aïoli (French garlic mayonnaise) on a side plate. You can also enjoy more refined versions of this Mediterranean speciality, with langoustine for example, and complemented with a glass of Cotes de Provence Rose wine.
Top Tip! In 1980, some of the Grand Chefs from Provence elaborated a special "Marseillaise Bouillabaisse Charter" that includes the authentic French recipe and traditional cooking. The greatest restaurants in the world that offer bouillabaisse must comply with it as much as possible.