Carolyne Kauser-AbbottExplore: Travel in ProvenceGuided Holiday Tours

Traditional Food Tour in Nice

Let’s just say it had been a few years since I had spent any time in Nice. My last visit was during an era when backpacks with external frames were acceptable, walkmans were hip, travel on $20 a day was possible and the Euro had not been invented. I was confident that my recall of Vieux Nice and the Promenade des Anglais might have been a bit hazy.

It was time to enlist some professional help!

Market cooking lesson #Nice #Market #CotedAzur

On the advice of Chrissie our regular contributor from The Riviera Grapevine, I signed up for A Taste of Nice’s “Pure Nice Food Tour.” The group met as instructed in front of the Opera Plage sign on the Promenade des Anglais. Coming from all corners of the globe – Australia, England, Norway and Canada we all wanted to discover Nice and her foodie traditions. Our guide Kelly is Franco-American, extremely proud of her city and 100% bilingual.

Our food sampling began even before we left the meeting point with a piece of Tourte de blette sucrée. Think of a date tart only with a green spinach-like interior it is a surprising way to turn a leafy garden green into a sweet temptation that would meet Popeye’s approval. The story behind this Niçoise favourite is that the locals had so much Swiss chard (blette) that they needed to find another recipe to use up the surplus.

Maison Auer #Nice06 @MaisonAuer

After a bit of a history lesson and overview of Nice today we started walking to Maison Auer one of the oldest candy stores in Nice. This store sells many tempting sweets within its Victorian-era décor. We sampled fruits confits, which are traditionally used in ice creams, cakes or as sweet dessert decoration. It was a Roman discovery that they could conserve fruit in honey. Using osmosis the water is eventually replaced by sugar so the fruit will last for a long time.

Maison Auer Fruits Confits #Nice06 @MaisonAuer Maison Auer Fruits Confits #Nice06 @MaisonAuer Maison Auer Fruits Confits #Nice06 @MaisonAuer

Sampling wine before noon is not mainstream in North America, in Nice it seemed perfectly reasonable – when in Nice… We had strolled through the narrow, cobweb of streets in Vieux Nice with Kelly providing interesting facts along the way. Now, it was time to sample the 2 Euro Vin de Pays du Var. A wine that was dispensed from a spigot into whatever container you choose to provide, in this case, it was a plastic bottle that had previously contained a litre of water.

Wine store #Nice #CotedAzur Wine store #Nice #CotedAzur

Fortified, we headed to le Tramway a shiny component of the Niçoise public transport system that certainly did not exist on my previous trip. The owners at A Taste of Nice have designed this tour to make sure their clients see the real Nice. So, we headed to the local’s food market at Place de Liberation.

Market wild artichoke #Nice #Market #CotedAzur Market tomatoes #Nice #Market #CotedAzur

Zucchini flowers #Market #Nice #CotedAzur

On a sunny Wednesday morning, we gawked at the farmers’ stands filled with regional, seasonal produce such as artichokes, aubergine, tomatoes and zucchini flowers. It had been at least 30 minutes since our last food sample. We simply could not leave the market without tasting a piece of homemade pissaladière before we got back on the tram to return to the old town.

The noon bells had rung and Nice’s cannon had boomed, it was lunchtime in Nice. We shared a delicious lunch of piping hot socca straight from its cast iron baking pan, petits farcis and some Provencal rosé.

Petits Farcis and Socca #FoodTour #Nice #CotedAzur #Nice06

We probably could have sat there all afternoon, but no there were still a few stops left on our foodie tour. It is true that I had some warning when I booked the trip that a light breakfast might be a good idea…and maybe no dinner. In all, 3 1/2 hours after we started I certainly felt like I had discovered some of Nice’s traditional food and gained some knowledge of Nice past and present.

What to sign-up for a tour?

Book a Tour:

A Taste of Nice (website)
Tel: +33 (0)9 86 68 93 81
admin@atasteofnice.com

 

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride was at six-months old, her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

2 Comments

  1. Phoebe @ Lou Messugo
    September 12, 2015 at 10:37 am — Reply

    Hi Carolyne, I wrote about the Nice food tour too nearly 3 years ago, you might be interested to compare. I think it’s changed a bit and in fact Gustav asked me to go along again, so I may well do an update soon. Here’s my version from Nov 2012 http://www.loumessugo.com/en/blog/entry/a-gastronomic-tour-of-nice (I also wrote about the cannon in Jan 2013!)

    • CKAdmin
      September 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm — Reply

      Hi Phoebe: Thanks for sharing your previous #Nice food tour post. You are right some minor changes in the itinerary, but certainly with the same passion for history and food. I am sure Perfectly Provence readers would be interested in more on the cannon if you want to share that post.

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