Food glorious street food. The smells, the tastes, the wonders of how something so simple and cheap could taste so good! It was about a year ago that this wondrous question would be answered.
Living in France truly has had its benefits. Not only for the fashionable people who always smell so good and eat so much, it’s a secret which I want to unfold someday as to how they stay so thin! But the food, yes the many different aromas that swirl my nose and tastebuds while I explore the cobble stoned streets in the little charming villages; making me so hungry as it would be almost sacrilegious if I did not stop at a food vendor and see the beautiful food that they are making, and tasting it, of course. It was in Nice, a beautiful city in the south of France, which would change my mind regarding beloved street food forever.
The French Riviera sounds so glamorous and exotic and oh my is it ever. I have truly never experienced a place so beautiful before. The sun, the elegant people, the sea and yes, the food! It was here where I was inspired to create a taste sensation so easy, so inexpensive and so versatile; even my parents enjoy it. This lovely little Nicoise snack I am raving about is none other than Socca. Being in the land of baguettes galore, I have decided not to be afraid of anything bread related anymore. I walk a lot and my jeans are actually a little loose on me, so bread is justified in some strange way. But this isn’t bread. Oh no, not even close; which is why the addictive properties in Socca should actually make the consumption of it illegal. Garbanzo flour is the culprit folks. Yes, dried chick peas or pois chiches, as I like to say, is the main component in this soul warming comfort foodie. The first time I was in Nice, my husband told me that I must try it as it’s their popular street food. Not even being apprehensive because I’ll try just about anything, I encouraged him where to get it and get it now. I remember the day being a little chilly, but that did not stop me towards my destination of consuming this mysterious food. Walking up and down the tiny streets, boutiques swarming with beautiful women smelling of Chanel and their red lipstick, I was so captured by every little site, truly in people watching overload. It was on a little corner that did not look like anything substantial is where it would all change for me. A young boy, probably no older than 16 was adding water, oil and pepper to this huge white bucket and mixing. Intrigued, I watched him pour some batter, you’d say, into this little round pizza pan and put it into a little brick oven, turning it like you would a pizza. Five minutes later, it was dusted with a little salt and white pepper and carefully wraped in a paper triangle. The warmth from the Socca alone was a blessing for my cold hands, but it was my first bite that would change my life literally forever. It had just the right balance of salt, a little kick from the white pepper and truly not greasy at all. Oh my goodness I fell in love with this little gem, costing about 3 Euro. It took five minutes to wait for and probably one minute between my husband and I to consume. Do you want the recipe? Sure you do. You’ll thank me for it.
What is really fun about Socca is that everyone will love it. Your kids especially will enjoy it and will be inspired to make pizza with this fondation recipe. Play around with the consistency and thickness. Add other herbs, hot sauce and toppings like arugula and sun dried tomatoes. You will truly be the life of the party.
For summer time purposes, this little snack pairs well with a nice Rose from Provence. It’s affordable, protein packed and simply lovely. Feed your soul, fuel your life and live your best. Take care and enjoy.