Herbes de Provence

herbes de provence

Herbes de Provence is a common herb mix that you will see in grocery stores and on French menus. However, it’s important to understand what it is and how to work with it. You can find the dried blend of herbs in the southeast of France where it originates or you can blend it on your own.

The herb mix is also a symbol of the sun and the blue sky of Provence. When you open the jar and close your eyes, it can make it feel like you’re in the French countryside.

You can choose to use the herbs from Provence in all sorts of exciting ways. It’s a staple when you’re cooking French cuisine, though you can use it in many other ways. If you want to take a little piece of Provence home with you, herbes de Provence is a good item to start with.

What is the History of Herbes de Provence?

The history of Herbes de Provence is a bit unclear. Some say that the mix was created by French monks in the Middle Ages, while others believe that it was first used by shepherds in the Provence region. Regardless of its origins, Herbes de Provence has become a staple in French cuisine.

Locals used to pick the different herbs in the wild or from their garden. They would dry the herbs themselves. Because of environmental preservation rules, it is not allowed anymore in a lot of places to pick them in the wild. In the 1960s Ducros, a French spice company began growing and packaging it commercially. The story goes that they created the blend as a way to market a new product, dried herbs, to French cooks. It became quickly a mix that was highly sought after.

One of the things that’s unique about the mixture is that the herbs keep their strong aroma even in dry form. The traditional herbes de Provence composition consists of 26% rosemary, 26% thyme, 26% savory, 19% oregano, and, then, 3% basil.


Rosemary is a woody, evergreen herb with fragrant, needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region and people have used it for centuries in cooking and medicine. Rosemary is a versatile spice that you can use in a variety of dishes, from roasted meats and vegetables to soups and stews.


If you’re looking to add a little flavor to your dishes, thyme is a great option. This herb has a long history of use in cooking, and its unique flavor can really liven up a meal. Here are a few things to know about thyme, as well as some tips for using it in your cooking. Thyme is a member of the mint family, and its scientific name is Thymus vulgaris. This herb is native to the Mediterranean region, and it has been used in cooking for centuries. Thyme has a strong, pungent flavor that is somewhat similar to oregano. When using thyme in cooking, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way. This herb is very potent, so you don’t need to use a lot of it to get the desired flavor. Thyme is typically used to flavor meat and vegetable dishes, and it can be added to soups and stews.


If you’re a fan of herbs, then you’ll love savory. You can use this versatile herb in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to casseroles and salads. Savory has a slightly peppery flavor that goes well with other herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, and oregano. It’s also a good choice for dishes that need a little extra flavor, such as grilled meats or vegetables.


Oregano is a member of the mint family and has a strong, pungent flavor. It is native to the Mediterranean region and the people there have used it for centuries in cooking and medicine. It is a versatile herb that you can use in a variety of dishes, from pasta to pizza. Oregano is also a popular ingredient in many Italian dishes.


Basil is a popular herb that you can use in many dishes. It has a strong, pungent flavor that is often used in Italian and Thai cuisine. Basil is a good source of vitamins A and C, and it also contains iron and calcium. Basil can be used fresh, dried, or in oil form.

Other Herbs

Depending on the region that it is mixed in, it may contain a few other herbs, including fennel, bay leaf, or sage. In the United States, it is common to see lavender added to the mix.

How to use Herbes de Provence?

Herbes de Provence is usually dried to conserve them longer. To get all the aroma’s out it’s a good idea to add in the herbs mix before or during the cooking process instead of after. Chefs use the mix very creatively. They use it on grilled meat and fish as well as in sauces and soups. You can also use it to create a crust on various items including steaks, oven-baked potatoes, and more.

Some cheese shops in France will also roll a semi-soft cheese, such as chèvre, into the herbs to create a unique flavor.

How is the mix different from other products?

Herbes de Provence is different from other spice mixes because it is not as heavily seasoned. This allows the individual flavors of the herbs to shine through. Additionally, Herbes de Provence does not typically contain salt, which allows for more control over the final flavor of the dish.

People commonly confuse the herb mix from Provence with other products that are on the market. While it has a similar composition as Italian seasoning, it is different. Italian seasoning includes rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil. The seasoning from Provence includes the use of savory. Depending on the version, it may also include sage, lavender, or fennel.

Additionally, there is a product with the name Fines Herbes. This is not a suitable substitution because the primary herbs are parsley, chives, chervil, and tarragon, none of which are part of herbes de Provence.

Exploring the Herb Mix

You can learn more about the herb mix by watching this video. The video gives you a little history about how you’d make the spice mix. It also describes how Julia Child helped to popularize it with chefs around the world. You can learn some of the different ways to incorporate it into foods, too, such as in grilled items and soups. Adding the herb mix to make a seared steak is also a great idea.

Fun Facts about Herbes de Provence

  • Monks may have created it in the Middle Ages.
  • The most common herbs used in Herbes de Provence are rosemary, thyme, savory, oregano, and basil.
  • You can use the mix to flavor meats, vegetables, and soups.
  • Herbes de Provence is different from other spice mixes because it is not as heavily seasoned.
  • Some of the best foods for Herbes de Provence are chicken, lamb, tomatoes, and potatoes.