BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs typical of the Provence region of Southern France.

The standard mixture typically contains savory, fennel, basil, and thyme. Lavender flowers are often found in mixtures sold in the United States. Lavender is not found in the original French version, but as Americans associate lavender fields with Provence, liberty is taken to create a unique North American blend.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Herbes de Provence as we know it really did not exist until the 1970’s. Sure the herbs themselves were used in various ways, sometimes all together, sometimes a few of them in various combinations, but a name was not associated with the blend until the 1970’s.

Sign Up for E-News

For starters try Herbes de Provence under the skin of a chicken before roasting. How about ditching the colonel’s eleven herbs and spices for this blend in fried chicken? (just be sure to include salt and pepper) It even works wonders with plain bread to make an interesting stuffing.

One whiff and most of us are taken away to a far off place. So why not take ordinary weeknight dinners to new places with Herbes de Provence? In the past Herbes de Provence was only available in specialty stores, these days it is showing up in the spice section of most mainline grocery stores.