Nice Socca

brenda

Destination: Antibes 

Mode of Transport: Socca

Socca is famous for being a street food in Nice. My family, however, had our very first bite of Socca in Antibes. It was August 15, 2012, and it was our third day in Antibes. So far, the trip had been a non-stop eating fest for us. That day was already our third time at the Marché Provençal (Provence Market) but it was the first time we went there during the daytime.Socca in Nice via @DishOurTown

The Marché Provençal is a day and night market. During the daytime, it is set up just like any market with fresh produce, meats, flowers, spices and many other things. At night, the restaurants surrounding the market set up outdoor seating space for diners.

Socca in Nice via @DishOurTown

Dinner at Marché Provençal in Antibes.

The atmosphere during the day is completely different from that of the night, which is wonderful and is the reason we came to this market again and again. The morning of August 15, we decided to see the market very early, and there were wonderful spices, fruits, vegetables and even soaps. At the end of the market, we saw a huge line forming in front of a street vendor selling Socca, which is a flat pancake made with chickpeas and olive oil. I had heard about Socca during my research for this trip and knew that I would get a chance to eat it in Nice, but we hadn’t reached Nice yet. Seeing this line of people for Socca and smelling the scent in the air, we decided to join the ranks of hungry customers.

Nice Socca | Dish Our Town

Our walk to the Marché Provençal

Andrew lined up while I stood aside to take pictures of him buying the Socca. It was coming out of an oven, each one was served fresh. The vendor sprinkled it with something – I think paprika? Then cut up the round Socca into smaller triangular shapes and served it in foil and wax paper to us. It was so hot to touch, I had to be patient – which was very hard.

Nice Socca via @ DishOurTown

Marché Provençal in the daytime with beautiful spices

It was a bit crunchy and soft as well. So delicious, simple and delicate, so good that we couldn’t put it down to take a picture. We each had one and finished them within minutes. I was so happy that Bailey liked it too because it’s healthy, being made with chickpeas.

Nice Socca | Dish Our Town

Lady at the market selling Socca – Andrew on line

We own Mark Bittman’s giant book  How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food, p. 633, he describes Socca: “The chickpea pancake is a classic throughout Provence and Liguria, where it’s called socca and farinata, respectively, and has been made for hundreds of years. Traditionally cooked in wood-or coal-burning ovens – in France on disk-shaped copper plates called plaques.”  Andrew, Bailey and I will be going to Cinque Terre, which is part of Liguria, this July, you bet we’ll be trying the farinata when we get there. OH YES!

Nice Socca | Dish Our Town

Beautiful produce at the market

On further research, a website beyond says that Socca dates back to at least 1860 and the Socca sellers have been selling them in marchés (markets) since then to workers on worksites.  Nowadays, it seems tourists are the #1 customers.

Both Mark Bittman’s book and beyond include a recipe, but I dare not try it yet… So Andrew, Bailey, my godson and I went on a search for Socca in NYC. Surprisingly, Socca is not served in many restaurants or food trucks in Manhattan!?

Nice Socca | Dish Our Town

Andrew, Bailey, my godson and I at Nizza Restaurant NYC

We did manage to find a restaurant called Nizza in Hell’s Kitchen on 44th and 9th Avenue that does serve it. As I suspected from the name of the restaurant,  Nizza is like Nice, France, and they describe themselves as an Italian restaurant with French accents- very indicative of Nice, which is right on the French border.

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Socca at Nizza made with pecorino, onions and sage

We ordered the Socca, theirs of which included more ingredients than the original. Nizza added sage, onions and pecorino in their version, which is served like a small pizza, on a plate. Since it’s a restaurant, I guess that’s acceptable.

It smelled so good with the onions! The Socca at Nizza was thicker than the Socca I had at Marché Provençal. It was crunchy on the edges, soft in the middle and actually the onions were very good with it.

The pecorino I could have done without but my favorite addition to this was the sage, which was also crispy. I do like the Socca better the original way, but this is a good enough substitute to transport me to Antibes.

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Socca transported us right to this spot – Musée Picasso at the Château Grimaldi – a favorite in Antibes

What surprises me is that there is no food truck or street vendor that sells Socca in NYC! I hope there is someone thinking of starting a Socca food truck soon. I see dozens of crepes trucks everywhere; let’s think Socca instead. It’s time! I promise to be a good customer!

Have you had Socca? Did you have it in Nice, Antibes or some other town in Provence ? Let me know in the comments. If you liked this “dish,” please share the post with your friends and make sure to sign up for me e-mail updates below so we can dream about travel together.  I really appreciate it.
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Short Travel Guides to Antibes

Getting to Antibes:

We took the local train from Arles to Antibes, it took about 3 1/2 hours. The fare was 40Euros per person.

Staying in Antibes:

La Place D’Antibes Hotel | Dish Our Town

La Place D’Antibes

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0 Replies to “Nice Socca”

  1. Never had socca, but it looks amazing, and your description makes me really want to try it! You always have delightful pictures and have been exposing me to so many foods I’ve never even heard of!

    1. I’m glad my descriptions made it sound delicious because it really was and healthy too. Makes me happy to introduce these foods, thank you again for coming by!

  2. So happy to bring those memories back for you. South of France is just breathtaking and Musee Picasso still fantastic! The balcony that overlooks the sea, makes me feel like I’m in a movie! Thank you for joining the adventure Sharon!

  3. Gemma, Thank you so much for joining us on our adventures! Hope to see you again. Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. i was in nice last october, but have never heard of socca (and didn’t come across it while there). it is definitely on my list for next time though. thank you, brenda!

    1. Wasn’t Nice just breathtaking? Let me know your thoughts on socca next time you’re there! Thanks for joining the adventure April!

  5. I had never heard of socca, but it sounds yummy, and being the mother of a vegetarian I think I’m going to have to find a recipe and give it a try. The market looked so colorful and fun. I’m glad your family had the opportunity to enjoy it! 🙂

  6. […] boulangeries, patisseries, boucheries, fromageries. Name it, this street had it. We also passed the Marche Provencal which served as the town’s Central Market. Where verdant vegetables filled the stalls along with […]

  7. […] boulangeries, patisseries, boucheries, fromageries. Name it, this street had it. We also passed the Marche Provencal which served as the town’s Central Market. Where verdant vegetables filled the stalls along with […]

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