I have often speculated that certain foods belong to a specific place or time. Try to reproduce them out of that place or time and you are only inviting failure. I have to say that Socca, this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, struck me as the perfect example of such a recipe.
Socca, for those who are not familiar, is Nicoise street food. In Paris you get crepes, in Nice you get socca. Crepes are made with wheat or (better yet) buckwheat flour, socca is made with chickpea flour. Crepes are topped with sugar and fresh lemon juice (well, they are when I order them!), socca is topped with fresh ground pepper. And as I type this it is becoming clear to me why everyone has heard of crepes and why so few have heard of socca. Chickpeas and pepper anyone?
Which brings me back (in an ever so round about way) to my original point. Socca is best made by a street vendor who has the right equipment and it is best eaten hot off the griddle while standing on the sidewalks in Nice, preferably with a glass of chilled rose in your other hand. My puny little oven simply wasn’t up to the task of tackling this recipe and the results were, well, uninspiring. Hopefully my fellow Doristas had better luck.