Monday, October 29, 2012

Socca and Farinata

[Photo: Jennifer Pickens on Flickr]
Socca (in Provence) and farinata (in Genoa) are the same thing, a chickpea crepe batter cooked in a very hot pan like a pizza.  It's served as a snack and is true stret food in both Nice and Genoa. 
In Provence, socca and cade (another name) go back at least to 1860.  Cade de Toulon, probably the more ancient of the two, was made from corn flour and the socca de Nice that evolved from it is made from chickpea flour.  There is a version in Marseilles made with a mixture of flours which they call tourta tota cada, meaning “hot tarts.”  It was mentioned in 1879 by Frédéric Mistral as gâteau de farine de maïs qu’on vend par tranches à Marseille (corn flour cake sold by the slice in Marseilles).  Socca was a favorite morning meal for workers who bought them from itinerant socca sellers who cooked them from wagons fitted with charcoal ovens while they cried cada, cada, cada or socca, socca, socca caouda.   The traditional socca is made on a copper tin called a plaque a round cooking surface about 2 feet in diameter that sits in a very hot wood fired oven.  It cooks until the top is golden in about 5 minutes.  The batter should be thinner than crêpe batter, almost like milk.

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