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Discover the French food in Nice : Cuisine Niçoise with FrenchToGo

pissaladiere

When I was looking for a French language course, the FrenchToGo weekend with alpha.b in Nice really appealed to me because not only could I explore a new city in a small private tour group, but the tour guide was a qualified French teacher so I could improve my French.

A real plus for me was that the tour could be adapted to the group’s interest and as there were only 5 of us in the group we soon found a common curiosity – food. We all felt that it was important to try local food in traditional places when visiting a new city for the first time, and with such a wide range of local food to showcase, our tour guide teacher was more than happy to assist us in this pleasurable discovery.

As an introduction, we learnt that the local Niçois cuisine is in fact very basic and eaten by hand, not gourmet cuisine. Also, there is a large Italian influence on the local cuisine due to the Nice area being part of Italy until 1860 when it became French under the Turin Treaty – you learn something new every day (particularly on FrenchToGo!).

nice massena french to go

The first place we visited was La Merenda, a quirky basic place run by a former top chef where you sit on stools, to try the fleur de courgette (zucchini flower).

cuisine niçoise

This is served one of two ways: battered and deep-fried to make a sort of flower fritter called a beignet, or farci style where the flower is stuffed with meat and spices and baked.  We tried the first at La Merenda and it was lovely. The closest thing I had tried to this would be tempura at a Thai restaurant but is was much softer, lighter and no way near as greasy as that – just a little delight to try something new.

cuisine niçoise

We then visited Lou Pilha Leva to taste the ‘must-try’ Pissaladiére, similar to a pizza but without tomato and using bread dough, topped with caramelized onions and sometimes olives and anchovies too.

My favorite local speciality by far (even though I loved all) was Socca, a traditional peasant snack resembling a large chickpea flour crepe. I ended up indulging in this little delight many times from Theresa Socca at the Cours Saleya market and Chez Pipo at the port, as well as numerous socca stands around the old town.

 

cuisine niçoise

 

And of course I didn’t leave Nice without having a lovely Salade Niçoise, but we all know what that tastes like.

If this experience sounds delightful and delicious to you, then I would seriously recommend a FrenchToGo language weekend so that you can get the most out of your next city-break.

 

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