What is bouillabaisse of Marseille?
Authentic Bouillabaisse of Marseillaise is a dish of Mediterranean fish cooked in a full-bodied broth prepared with rockfish, flavoured with fennel and saffron. It must be filled with at least four species from among: lionfish, white lionfish (beef), spider (live or cabotte), galinette (mullet gurnard), John Dory, monkfish (monkfish), fiélas (conger), capon (scorpion fish); possibly sea bass, whiting, and crustaceans such as slipper lobster, lobsters or green crabs; some also add cuttlefish.
It is accompanied by garlic croutons, made with slices of dried or toasted baguette without coloring, and a Rouille sauce, whipped like a garlic mayonnaise with olive oil, saffron and peppers.
The Ancient Origins of Bouillabaisse : a Marseille’s speciality
Coming from ancient Greece, bouillabaisse appeared at the same time as the founding of Marseilles, in the 7th century BC. It classically designates a broth, in which all the leftovers and fish unsold by the fishermen are added. A legend also links this dish to Roman mythology. Venus apparently offered some to Vulcan to put him to sleep, so that she could seduce Mars in peace!
Today, many visitors to Marseille consider tasting bouillabaisse a must. It's more of an experience than a dish. Prepared with fish cooked in water or white wine, seasoned with garlic, olive oil or saffron, this recipe is fully integrated into the discovery of the Phocaean city. Among the most used fish are the scorpion fish, the whitefish, the John Dory or the conger eel.
Le Pain à l'Ail: a restaurant offering bouillabaisse at Marseille
Le Pain à l'Ail is a very special destination for those seeking a restaurant serving authentic bouillabaisse in Marseille; but with a modern take on the classic recipe. After having worked as a chef in various types of restaurants in Paris and Marseille, Linda and her husband, who both grew up in Marseille, had a very bright idea. Their concept what to serve traditional Provençal street-food, primarily signature dishes of local gastronomy available in sandwiches (or dishes if you prefer on the spot). From the stew (tasted here with polenta) to the aioli via the famous bouillabaisse, you can find the tastes of the region with fresh and seasonal products cooked in house. This way of serving gastronomic favourites is proving very popular with locals and tourists alike who love the convenience (and the taste) of Le Pain a l'Ail's offerings.
Bouillabaisse bread is obviously a loose interpretation of the famous recipe that would be impossible to place between two slices of bread and it may be considered too revolutionary for traditionalists. However, chunks of Saint-Pierre, homemade rouille, mashed potatoes and a bread (the “grand siècle” from the “Nouvelle Tradition” bakery in the Turcat-Mery alleys) soaked in fish soup will already be enough for visitors head to passage to soak up Marseille and find out what all the fuss is about at this unique restaurant offering Bouillabaisse in Marseille. These filled breads can be eaten in the pretty adjoining room and on the terrace of the small pedestrian thoroughfare just redone just a stone's throw from the Old Port and the Opera.
Open non-stop all day, le Pain à l'Ail also allows visitors and locals alike to enjoy their breakfasts or snacks, a soup or a salad. at any hour of the day. And whether you are hungry after a day's sightseeing or simply a bit peckish, why not "piter" a few slices of garlic bread (after which the establishment is named), panisses, brousse or tapenade bread with a very fresh mousse? The menu is filled with mouthwatering dishes, including the best bouillabaisse in Marseille.
You could even make a few small infidelities to the local gastronomy and escape a little further in the Mediterranean with a beautiful Italian focaccia or part of fiadone? Le Pain a L'Ail believe that taste is more important than rigid fidelity, while respecting the spirit of the original dishes. All always prepared with love and served with genuine warmth, one last ingredient that already contributes half to the success of the place.