5 Favourite Foods of Nice

Written by on September 17, 2018 in Gastronomy

Nice is one of the most beautiful cities in France, nestled by the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Founded by the Greeks long ago, it has changed hands many times—for centuries it was part of the Duchy of Savoy, then part of France, then part of the Kingdom of Sardinia in Italy, before finally joining France again in 1860. The city’s cuisine reflects its French and Italian origins, especially those of the nearby regions of Provence and Liguria.

One of the highlights of any visit to Nice is the chance to enjoy some of its delicious dishes. Let’s look at five of my favorites.

Salade Niçoise

No trip to Nice, or France for that matter, is complete without a salade niçoise. You get to choose which version you want because this is a dish with many variations. The original salad, served in Nice over a century ago, was a simple combination of tomatoes, anchovies and olive oil. Over the years, other ingredients have been added like tuna, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes and green beans. Today there are as many variations as there are chefs—would you like corn? Olives? Seared ahi tuna? Take your pick and choose the one you like.

Pan Bagnat

The pan bagnat sandwich, popular in Nice, is like a really good salade niçoise on bread.  To make it, take a boule or other round loaf, cut it in half top and bottom, and drizzle each piece with olive oil. And by drizzle, I mean pour it on because you really can’t have too much good olive oil! Then layer on hard-boiled egg, tuna, anchovies, tomato, onion, cucumber and more. You can stop there, knowing that it will be messy to eat, or do as the good people of Nice do—squish it together tightly and store it in the fridge for a few hours so it holds together better. Either way, it’s a perfect picnic food. Here’s a delicious recipe you can make at home: pan bagnat (meat and vegetarian varieties).

Ratatouille

This Provençal favorite originated in Nice, where it is sometimes called ratatouille niçoise. It’s a stewed vegetable dish, typically made with tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onions and garlic, though there are many variations on this dish. Some chefs cook all the vegetables together from the start, but purists insist they be cooked separately and then combined at the end. Like a lot of stews, ratatouille improves if you keep it in the refrigerator overnight and then eat it the next day. See a fab recipe for Ratatouille Tian in our free magazine The Good Life France Summer 2018 and in the Autumn 2018 issue for Ratatouille tart.

Pissaladière

This snack food has a crust like a pizza, but it’s square instead of round and there’s no cheese or sauce. Instead, a pissaladière is topped with caramelized onions, black olives and anchovies. The name comes from the ancient Ligurian word for “salted fish.”

Socca

Another snack food, socca is a flatbread made from a simple batter of chickpea flour, olive oil and water. This is cooked into a kind of big pancake and then cut into triangular slices, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Eat it warm, when it’s at its best. The dish originated in Genoa and is called farinata in Italian. Read more about socca, the superfood of Nice.

Keith Van Sickle splits his time between Silicon Valley and Provence.  He is the author of  One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence; Read more at Life in Provence.

More on the food of Nice

Markets of Nice
4 authentic restaurants in Nice that are also great value
Authentic and delicious places to eat in Nice
How to do Nice on a budget
Wine and food tours of Nice
History of Socca in Nice

Related Articles

Recipe for French Cheese Soufflé

Le Soufflé is considered a culinary masterpiece in France. The word soufflé comes from souffler – to breathe or to puff, and this dish takes puffing to an art form! The first time the recipe for a cheese soufflé was recorded was 1742 in Le Cuisine Modern by Vincent La Chapelle (modern for those times […]

Continue Reading

How to host a dinner party in true French style

Julia Girard-Gervois of TripUSAFrance organises amazing tours of France. Though she now lives in the USA, she loves to bring a taste of French style to her table. We asked Julia for her top tips to create a French flavour at home… French table style Always make sure that the dinner table is dressed before […]

Continue Reading

Pastis Gascon | Gascon Apple Pie

I’d never heard of this apple pie until I visited the beautiful area of Gers, AKA Gascony. Deep in the hear of rural southern France, it’s like the land that time forgot. Rolling hills, vineyards, orchards and lakes, peppered with tiny villages and medieval towns. It’s a land of plenty and famous for its speciality […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for Pissaladière

This delicious Provencal version of pizza is a firm favourite in Nice and the French Riviera.  It’s easy to make at home, is great for a snack or light meal, very moreish and goes well with a green salad or on its own or with a glass of chilled rosé… Ingredients for a Pissaladière for […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for Courgette Fritters | Zucchini Cakes

Courgette fritters, or zucchini cakes, depending on what side of the pond you’re on, are a really easy dish to make. They make for fabulous snacks and are just perfect with a glass of wine. They’re also good paired up with meat dishes or with tapas. We asked chef Nadia Sammut of the Michelin Star […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top