​The tapenade is an absolutely delightful kind of black olive pâté from Provence. The recipe also includes capers, olive oil and different herbs. Indeed, its name stems from tápeno, a Provençal term given to capers. 

If you want to learn more about this delicious condiment that accompanies many dishes and is ever-present as an appetizer in every house of this southern France region, we invite you to climb aboard our Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation trains! Get to some of the most idyllic destinations in Provence right away at high speed.

History and facts about the tapenade

Despite there being a certain consensus when it comes to the origin of this tasty black olive paste, in reality, it may also have been created in parallel at many other locations around the Mediterranean. It is no surprise that we can, for example, find a spread whose main ingredients are also black olives, just like the tapenade, in the Greek or even the Catalan traditional cuisine. What is clear is that this delight has a strong Mediterranean character.

Olives are the basis of the delicious tapenade

It is believed that it was in the late 19th century when this recipe was first prepared. More specifically, it was chef Meyner at the Maison Dorée restaurant, located in Marseille​, who delighted his diners with this novel taste. This is, at least, what French cook Jean-Baptiste Reboul claimed in 1899 in his book ‘La Cuisinière Provençale’, a compilation of Provençal gastronomy recipes. The curious thing is that Meyner wasn’t French, but Bavarian.

It is worth mentioning that the tapenade is considered to be a superfood, since it is made with very healthy ingredients that are good for the body.​

A rich tapenade ready for us to spread on toast

Tapenade recipe

The tapenade is a delicious appetizer that​ is generally presented spread on a loaf of bread. 

Do you want to know how to prepare it? ​

You will just need the following ingredients: 150 grams of pitted black olives, 1 tablespoon of capers, one half garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of ground pepper.



First, crush all of the ingredients with a mortar and add the olive oil a little at a time. If you are in a hurry, you may blend them. Do remember that the mixture should not be too finely ground, but it should form a paste instead. For better results, it is recommended to refrigerate it and, once ready, serve on a toast, or as a base for various appetizers. Without a doubt, this recipe is as simple as delicious!

Knowing Provence does not only imply visiting its magical towns such as Marseille, Aix-en-Provence or Avignon, but also to learn about its exquisite gastronomy. Trying the tapenade is the first step toward falling in love with this beautiful region of southern France! Now, with our Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation high-speed trains, these destinations are just one step away from your home.

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