As with all French regions Provence has a strong gastronomic culture and history of local produce and specialities. When it comes to Provençal cooking the contrast between the hearty mountain dishes (including gratin dauphinois,  em>ravioles, rissoles, and creuzets d’Ecrins) and the lighter, more delicate dishes of the Mediterranean (ratatouille, aioli, pesto, bouillabaisse, bourride) is striking. A healthy dose of sunshine, however, is almost certainly found no matter where you are in Provence. When it comes to a sweet-tooth Provence boasts excellent honey, Calissons (small sweets made from almonds and melon juice), chocolate mendiants (similar to Florentines) and quince paste. Drinking an apéritif is a big part of local Provençal culture with Pastis (an aniseed liqueur mixed with water) or a cold glass of one of the local wines (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes-de-provence, Rasteau,  em>Bandol) amongst the favourite tipples. A trip to the market could well be on the cards, as all of these specialities (and more) can be found in local markets across the region.