Do you know what Socca de Nice is?
It is one of the most famous typical dishes of this charming Provencal city.
Its scent sneaks through the alleys of the Old Town, comes out of the historic shops and makes your mouth water.
You can even smell its scent on Promenade des Anglais: simple, tasty and definitely low cost, Socca is perfect for a quick lunch or a tasty break with a sea view.
If you are planning to visit the city, among the best things to do in Nice you can’t forget to taste this delicacy and… remember that it’s pronounced Soccà, with the accent on the final “a”!
Socca de Nice is one of the most famous dishes of the South of France. It is a simple dish, a chickpea pancake very similar to the italian “farinata” that you can taste in the nearby Liguria. Like this one, socca is very thin and has a very marked contrast between the crunchy exterior and the soft interior.
Socca is cooked in a wood-fired oven and then served in slices. It can be eaten at home, in a restaurant, but also while walking. The chikpea Socca, in fact, can be considered the traditional street food of Nice!
If you want to try at home, below you can find the Socca recipe. Obviously, if you do not have a wood-burning oven you can use the normal oven or a simple cast iron pan.
Preparing the mixture is very simple.
Mix the chickpea flour with cold water in a bowl and mix so as not to leave any lumps. Then add 4 spoons of oil, salt and pepper.
If you want a stronger taste you can decide to add some aromatic herbs (rosemary, for example, enhances the taste and scent of chickpeas).
Let the mixture rest for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, if you have decided to bake Socca in the oven, heat it to 220° – 230°.
Grease the pan with olive oil and put it in the oven to make it hot too.
After a couple of minutes take it out and pour the mixture inside. Bake again and let it cook for 5 – 10 minutes.
The product is ready when you see the toasted edges and the shiny, golden crust.
If, on the other hand, you decide to prepare your Socca with a cast iron pan, heat the oil in the pan, pour the mixture and cook for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until the edges are browned.
At this point, turn the Socca over and finish cooking.
When Socca is ready, cut it into slices and serve.
Now that we have explained to you how to prepare Socca de Nice, we want to tell you briefly its history and some curiosities about it.
The origins of this dish are lost in the mists of time and there are those who date them back as far as 8,000 years ago.
Chickpea flour was often used in Egypt, Mesopotamia and in the Middle East. It seems, in fact, that it was the Saracens who introduced the habit of cooking real “fries” of chickpea flour in Sicily: today we all know them as “panelle”.
How it arrived in Nice, however, is still a mystery. It is likely that the tradition has been handed down from the Italian city of Genoa, in the nearby Liguria. Since the 15th century the production of Genoese “farinata” was already documented and the places where it was prepared were called Sciamadda.
Socca de Nice, however, really took hold in the 19th century when Thèresa, an almost legendary figure in the city, began to churn out large quantities of chickpea socca to sell to fishermen who had just returned from a long night of work.
It was once considered a modest meal, the lunch of fishermen and workers. Today, instead, the chickpea Socca is highly appreciated as an aperitif, appetizer or as a quick street – food.
The relationship between Nice and Socca is still very strong and in the city you often meet peddlers who sell it on the busiest streets. You can find them, for example, in Cours Saleya or in the alleys of the Old Town.
If you want to taste this delicacy, but also want to learn about the other traditional dishes of Nice, then our advice is to take part in our food tour in Nice.
During the tour you will discover the most beautiful spots of the city, walk through the alleys of the Old Town and stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. Meanwhile, at each stop, you will taste the best specialties of the beautiful Provencal city.
During our food tour you will have the opportunity to taste the best dishes of Nice: from Pissaladière, a tasty onion pie, to Tapenade, a sauce of anchovies, olives and capers spread on bread, to the famous and fragrant chickpea Socca!
What are you waiting for? We are ready for you to discover Nice and its goodness!
To reserve your seat in our Nice Food Tour send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via WhatsApp at +39 329 17.90.647.
We have created amazing food tours and cooking experiences that will show you how and what local people enjoy eating. Typical dishes, served in different restaurants, will present you the local food culture!