Wandering aimlessly through the maze of narrow streets in Vieux Nice, the old town of that ancient Mediterranean port city, is the very best kind of getting lost. There are treasures to be found in every alleyway . . .vintage clothing, modern artists, fromageries, épiceries, tiny restaurants only a few tables wide serving up the pasta du jour . . .munching on a serving of of hot socca bought fresh and hot from a sidewalk vendor then ambling around taking it all in . . . I was such a tourist that I even found lines of laundry hanging out to dry high on 3rd floor balconies picturesque and charming.

My favorite jewel in the neighborhood was the épicerie fine, the spice shop, Lou Pantaï (not to be confused with the pizza restaurant Lou Pantail.) You’ll find it if you wander around long enough; it’s chock-full of aromatic and enticing flavored salts, spice blends, and Provence soaps, perfumes, and tisanes.

Here is a strawberry blended salt for tapas:

Small wooden crate filled with raspberry colored salt blend

 

How can you resist hibiscus and coriander salt?

 

Of course, they have their own special chili mix:

 

The assortment of orange and yellow hued curry powders look good enough to paint with. Or to eat.

 

Their spices come from all over the world, not just the Provence region:

 

I came home with some herbs de provence that were actually grown in Provence as well as an omelette seasoning blend that make eggs taste FABULOUS with just the right amount of tarragon and pepper. Thankfully salt and spice packets don’t take up much room in a suitcase.

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