Salade Niçoise, meaning salad from Nice, is served in restaurants all over the world making it undoubtedly the most famous of the local gastronomic specialities from the Côte d’Azur, but have you heard of my top 3 best snacks from Nice? When visiting Nice on the French Riviera you’ve just got to try them.
Socca is the ultimate street food or snack from Nice. It is basically a large chickpea crêpe, cooked on a copper dish about a metre wide in a wood-fired oven, consisting of chickpea flour, olive oil, salt and water. While cooking, the flames should just lick the surface without grilling it too much; there’s an art to perfecting this delicious pancake.
It should be very thin and slightly burnt on the top. Socca is served in little scrapings, piping hot with lots of pepper and ideally a glass of cold rosé!
Another delicious snack from Nice is a Pan-Bagnat, a great big round bread roll, stuffed with tuna, tomato, onion, basil, slices of hard boiled egg, anchovy, radish, green pepper, black olives and plenty of olive oil – basically a salad niçoise in bread.
The name comes from Italian pane bagnato meaning wet bread, which indicates just how much olive oil should be used – loads! Don’t expect to look elegant when eating this delight; you’ll have oil dripping everywhere. Great for eating on the beach – just jump in the sea to rinse off when you’ve finished.
This unfortunately named dish (to English ears) often doesn’t look great either, but trust me, it tastes wonderful. The name comes from “peis salats” which means anchovy purée in Nissart, giving a clue as to one of the ingredients. It is in fact a sort of onion and anchovy tart.
It consists of a base made of a reasonably thick, and very soft, bread-like dough topped with a generous covering of lightly caramelised onions that should melt in the mouth. Some people add whole anchovy fillets on top, others spread anchovy paste on the base before adding the onions. Both versions are authentic and delicious. Pissaladière is dotted with black olives and can be served cold or warm but not hot.
You can find Pan-Bagnat and Pissaladière in boulangeries and snack bars all over the Côte d’Azur but Socca is less widely available. Sellers using a traditional oven are located mainly in the old town of Nice, at markets in nearby towns (Antibes every morning is a good example) and at village fêtes.
For more about food from Nice and the general area you might enjoy A gastronomic tour of Nice and Top 8 must-try foods from Provence
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Thanks for hosting Marcia. These 3 snacks aare very local and pretty much unavailable outside this small area. You’ll just have to come and visit to try them!
Hi Phoebe, except for Salade Nicoise, I haven’t heard of any of these snacks. I’d love to try Socca, sounds delicious!
Thanks for linking up this week. Hope to see you again soon.
It’s not so embarrasing if you don’t speak any French Miranda! There’s no reason to think “niçoise” means from Nice, but now you know! I hope you get to try socca one day.
This is mildly embarrassing, but I honestly had no idea that nicoise salad meant ‘salad from Nice!’ Thank you for teaching me something new, Phoebe! And, of course, for introducing me to socca, which looks scrumptious. I’m addicted to chickpeas in any form, and this looks divine. (The cold glass of rose wouldn’t hurt, either.)
You must try Pan-Bagnat and Pissaladière too Thomas, I’m sure you’ll love them! 🙂
I like your thinking Gudulo, any excuse for a glass of rosé! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
I feel your pain Rosie! We’ve had unseasonably cold weather too, 9° a couple of days ago which has got to be a record low for the south of France in May. It can’t last forever though…
This craziness is making my trousers feel nice and loose though .. it is the most successful diet I have EVER been on so I will be carrying on for a while longer 😉 As for slipping down south t pig out on some Niçoise treats, that sounds like a wonderful idea. We are currently hovering around a bone-chilling 6 degrees and I got soaked walking the dogs earlier. I need some sunshine to show off the new slimmer me but at the moment it’s buried under several layers of WINTER clothes!
Yummy. I have only ever eaten socca in Nice and I agree it is delicious[img][/img][b][/b]
Pan bagnat has been my lunch for the last 3 months and I just can’t stop!! I must admit I also enjoy socca with a glass of rosé even without socca and pissaladière is a good excuse to drink more rosé as it makes you thirsty. Bref, 3 good reasons to have a glass, love the pictures too.
oh no Rosie, I always seem to write about food on your fasting days! You’ve got to stop this craziness and come and pig out with me in the south!
Hi Frisco, Pan-Bagnat is much more widely known than the other 2, and is found all over Provence. I first came across it as a teenager on holiday near St Tropez where we’d eat it evey day on the beach. I’d never heard of the other 2 till I moved to the Nice area. I hope you get the chance to try them one day.
*Drool* – but I will return tomorrow to read this post in more detail as today I am on a fasting day and the pictures are enough to weaken my resolve!
These look delicious. I’ve only eaten Pan-Bagnat before, but being a big fan of both chickpeas and onions I’d love to try both Socca and Pissaladiere. 🙂