VizEat Marseille Dinner 2foodtrippers

VizEat Marseille – Local Food with Local People

In Food Tripping, France by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch10 Comments

Have you heard of VizEat? Check out our recent VizEat Marseille dinner experience to see what it’s all about.

VizEat Marseille Dinner 2foodtrippers

VizEat Marseille 2foodtrippers

We visited Marseille as strangers. Sure, we’re adventurous travelers and eaters who can find good restaurants on our own, but we wanted to interact with locals to get a better feel for France’s second largest city. That’s how we ended up scheduling a VizEat Marseille dinner experience.

What is VizEat?

In their best incarnations, sharing services distinguish themselves by letting travelers live among locals. With Airbnb, we’ve relaxed on sunlit terraces in towns like Albi and Marseille and soaked up residential areas in the heart of cities like Los Angeles’ and Austin. VizEat applies the same principles to dining, allowing travelers to eat with locals. Some of the great food traditions of the world are born around the family table, and VizEat allows diners to tap into the experience of a Nonna’s kitchen in Italy or a family dinner in China. In our case, we got to dine with a young couple in their urban Marseille apartment.

Intrigued by the sharing concept, we journeyed 40 minutes on the Marseille Metro for our culinary quest. After ascending the stairway to the Metro exit, we entered an area away from the cathedrals, fishing boats, tour buses, museums and bouillabaisse. Adjacent to the Velodrome soccer stadium, this was a more modern, nondescript neighborhood filled with large apartment towers that many modern Marseillais call home.

Our host Anthony got the dinner party started with pastis, Marseille's popular anise flavored liqueur. VizEat Marseille 2foodtrippers

Our host Anthony got the dinner party started with pastis, Marseille’s popular anise flavored liqueur.

Anthony, a former navy cook and food lover, greeted us with a smile and amuse bouche cups of tomatoes with chêvre. We soon met his pregnant companion Nathalie, a nursery school teacher, who would complete our dinner quartet. Though their English was only a little better than our French, we were able to communicate easily thanks to the magic of Google Translate and the common language of food.

Before moving to the dinner table, Anthony started the meal with Mauresque, Mindi's new favorite cocktail. VizEat Marseille dinner 2foodtrippers

Before moving to the dinner table, Anthony started the meal with Mauresque, Mindi’s new favorite cocktail.

Our VizEat Marseille Dinner

Along with the hors d’oeuvres, Anthony introduced us to the Mauresque, a popular drink in Marseille. Translating to “The Moorish” in English. This tasty aperitif has just four ingredients –  Pastis (anise flavored liqueur), Orgeat (almond syrup), water and ice cubes. The combination of flavors results in a uniquely refreshing anise concoction that we continued drinking throughout our time in Marseille and plan to recreate in the future. (See recipe below.)

Our first official course was a Provençal Millefeuille. This starter showcased many of the fresh vegetables and herbs available in Marseille. VizEat Marseille 2foodtrippers

Our first official course was a Provençal Millefeuille. This starter showcased many of the fresh vegetables and herbs available in Marseille.

Marseille literally kisses the Mediterranean Sea, and seafood abounds throughout the city. Fishermen pluck the sea’s bounty and sell the fresh seafood at the port and local markets. Fittingly, Anthony served us swordfish that he lovingly barbecued on his balcony. He served the fish with mounds of rice and vegetables and then finished each plate with saffron. Paired with a bottle of refreshing Provençal Rosé, this was simple food that conveyed the essence of the region.

Although we had expected a more regional dish, we ate every bite of the perfectly grilled swordfish served with rice. VizEat Marseille dinner 2foodtrippers

We ate every bite of the perfectly grilled swordfish served with rice and vegetables.

Similar to seafood, local produce is plentiful in Marseille. The city teems with outdoor markets selling fruits and vegetables grown around and close to France. Taking advantage of this available local fruit, Anthony finished our meal with a luscious vanilla custard topped with vibrant red raspberries. It was a sweet ending that lingered on our tongues as we headed back to the Metro station and toward the next adventure of our journey.

We ended the meal with dessert, a light and refreshing raspberry concoction. VizEat Marseille dinner 2foodtrippers

We ended the meal with dessert, a light and refreshing raspberry concoction.

Food can often be the gateway to understanding a different culture. Between the food and conversation that we shared at Anthony’s apartment, we left the meal with a greater understanding of Marseille, its people and its culinary traditions – along with two full stomachs.

Wondering about the Mauresque? Wonder no more. Here’s a simple recipe for the popular Marseille cocktail:

Ingredients

2 parts Pastis (anise-flavor liqueur)
1 part Orgeat (almond syrup)
2 ice cubes
Water

Preparation

Combine the Pastis and Orgeat in a glass and stir.
Add ice cubes.
Top off the glass with cold water.

We thank VizEat for facilitating our meal for the purpose of this article.


Comments

  1. Marvelous concept. I really love Airbnb for lodging and I typically Yelp or crowd source places to eat. I would love to eat food prepared by locals so I should definitely try VizEat.
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  2. The best part of traveling to other countries is experiencing their culture, food, and customs. Some of our most treasured memories have included eating with locals…a carbonara lunch in a private home in Ravenna, Italy…a homemade soup in an apartment in Madrid…Ceviche in the apartment of San Salvadoreans in New Jersey…even paprika chips and Oasis as a “snack” in Nimes, France. All combined with conversation. Thanks for sharing your Marseille experience!

  3. Nothing brings people together quite like food does. I’d love to eat dinner in Italy made by someone’s Nonna. Maybe the next time I visit Italy, I can now that I know of VizEats! Your meal looks fantastic. The Provençal Millefeuille looks particularly mouthwatering.

  4. Looks great! I have to agree, the best way to experience another culture is through their food.

  5. Thank you very much for your article and glad that the evening has pleased . See you soon, I hope. Anthony

  6. What an awesome idea! We love getting to know locals but we had no idea about VizEat! Thank you for
    sharing, we will definitely check it out ☺️

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