04/05/2016 by Virginie Jung

Traditional bourride is a fish soup from Languedoc-Roussillon whereas bouillabaisse originated in Marseilles. Bourride is prepared with white fishes like mullet, mackerel, sea bass, whiting and monkfish. The fishes are steamed and develop a stock where you add a vegetable…
Today, students prepared a eel bourride. Bourride is a cousin of the world famous bouillabaisse.

« I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers » Vincent Van Gogh

Traditional bourride

Traditional bourride is a fish soup from Languedoc-Roussillon whereas bouillabaisse originated in Marseilles. Bourride is prepared with white fishes like mullet, mackerel, sea bass, whiting and monkfish. The fishes are steamed and develop a stock where you add a vegetable brunoise. When the soup is ready, you make a mayonnaise with olive oil, fish stock and garlic. We call this sauce aioli and it is served with the bourride. You can even add some crispy garlic bread.

What about the bouillabaisse?

Bouillabaisse originated in the port of Marseilles. Fishermen brought back home the fishes they were unable to sell. The cook steamed all the fishes’ leftovers and shared this meal with the family. Its name come from the method of preparation in the Provençal language, bolhir and abaissar. The ingredients are not added all at once. The broth is first boiled (bolhir) then the different kinds of fish are added one by one. Each time the broth comes to a boil, the heat is lowered (abaissar).

As every traditional recipe, each family has its own version and little secrets. Yet, some basics have to be respected to get the designation Bouillabaisse. An authentic bouillabaisse must include 4 essential elements:

  • Presence of rascasse (scorpion fish)
    Freshness of the fish
    olive oil
    Excellent saffron.

In the traditional version, we serve the broth first. It is paired with the famous “rouille” spread on thick grilled slices of bread. Rouille is a mayonnaise with olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper. Next we serve the fish and vegetables (leeks, onions, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes) on a separate platter.

Be careful, in Marseilles there is a bunch of fake bouillabaisse!

As several restaurateurs preyed on tourists by serving lower-end fish soups, chefs decided to edit a charter in 1980. It standardizes the recipe, the main ingredients and the proper way to serve it.

While in Marseilles make sure to pick a restaurant that signed la Charte de la Bouillabaisse

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