If you've read our hiking guide to the Côte d'Azur, you already know about Porquerolles' many footpaths over rocks and pine needles, the island's forts and its delicious beaches. To read the new guidebook on Côte d'Azur hikes, click below.
In addition to great hikes, the island of Porquerolles fosters smart ideas.
What's special about Marie-Claude's jams? They're simmered in small quantities, with great care. More unique, Marie-Claude harvests the fruit of the island's Conservatoire Botanique de Porquerolles. Many of these fruit are ancient varieties grown here to help preserve regional biodiversity.
"We tend to many of the orchards on Porquerolles' Botanical Conservatory," explains Marie-Claude Cano.
"We also take care of the conservatory's olive trees. In return, we're allowed to harvest some of the fruit trees."
Marie-Claude spreads a little homemade fig jam over a slice of crusty bread. She concocted the fig chutney from the island's figs simmered with onions, vinegar, raisins and tangy spices. She tops the jam-dripping bread with a piece of goat cheese.
"Goutez-moi ça," she says with a smile, handing me the bread slice. It oozes with a tangy sweet and sour taste cooled by the creamy cheese.
On Porquerolles, Marie-Claude also picks olives from the Conservatory's 30 varieties of olive trees. From these insular olives, the mill at La Farlède extracts a thick oil. With this many varieties of olives crushed in the press' millstones, the olive oil must be the only of its kind on the globe. I'm told only about 300 liters are sold.
Got my little 20cl of olive nectar. Too bad the internet won't let you taste it (yet)...
Who: Saveurs des Vergers, by Marie-Claude Cano, Ferme de l'Oustaou de Diou, Porquerolles. Phone: 04 98 04 60 78
Where: Marie-Claude travels to some of the local food festivals. You can also find her goodies at at Cathy Legumes and Pisani Traiteur on Porquerolles