Socca is a Favourite Streetfood from Nice Make it at Home
Socca, made with chickpea flour, is the ubiquitous street food found all over southeastern France, most notably in Nice and, more specifically, around the Cours Saleya market. When cooked perfectly, it is best straight from the pan and served very hot, replete with addictively crispy edges and lightly seasoned with flake sea salt, cumin, and perhaps a drizzle of olive oil. It makes the perfect merenda, or midday snack, with a bottle of rosé (who drinks just one glass?) to keep you active while searching for treasures in the narrow streets of Vieux Nice.
It is hard to pinpoint the exact origins of socca or soca as it is spelt in the Niçard dialect, though the modern version is likely to have crossed borders from Italy, where it is known as farinata. While the exact origins of socca are not clear, it remains a popular dish in Nice. There’s even a short documentary called “We Eat Socca Here,” which introduces us to the world of this local speciality. We learn the dish’s history, watch it being made, and learn why the locals love it so much. The film is guaranteed to make you hungry!
But you don’t need to travel to Nice to taste this southern French speciality. It’s easy to make at home and makes for a dramatic show to cook in front of friends while enjoying an apero.
How to Make Socca
- 1 cup Chickpea Flour
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 1 pinch Cumin
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 cup Water
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth. Put into a glass jar and let sit for a day.
- Build a charcoal fire. Put cast iron pizza 'stone' over the fire. Liberally oil. Pour chickpea batter over and tilt the pan until all the runny batter is in contact with cast iron. Cook till crispy, then flip and finish cooking. It usually takes me 2 or 3 minutes.
- Lift pan out of the fire and serve at table. I usually drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle flake sea salt.