Today I’m eating for me of course, but I’m also eating for Wayne. Wayne is…was my often partner at the San Francisco company where I do a lot of freelance remotely. His last day is Friday. Since I just can’t bring myself to fly 6000 miles to attend his going away lunch, Wayne and I decide I’ll eat a bunch of French stuff for him over here and chronicle the deliciousness. So I take a stroll through the Antibes Marche Provencal to find some goodies.
Wayne is experiencing a bit of a sugar rush so I race past all the gorgeous fruit and vegetables (you can get them anywhere) towards the Socca oven that’s up and burning at the other end of the Marche. Yes, Wayne must have a socca. It’s distinctly from this part of the world! Socca is basically a crepe made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt and it’s much better than it has a right to be, especially with a healthy shot of black pepper. It’s a specialty of Southeast France and the Ligurian Coast of Italy. It’s like a tidy falafel. It’s a particularly good choice if Wayne happens to be on a gluten-free diet.
Next up, the Grande Aioli lunch. Very South of France. Very traditional. It’s basically boiled cod and vegetables with an aoili dipping sauce. It would be very healthy if Wayne didn’t insist on slathering it with the aioli.
Now I figure Wayne could go for something sweet, so I pick up a pack of the nougat that is popular here and in Provence. I get the multi-flavored assortment to try all the nougaty essences. It’s sort of a sophisticated version of Turkish taffy. While there’s a similarity, it’s not as sweet and much more, as the package says, “tendre”. Also, the flavors are more subtle and natural tasting. The roasted almonds are a nice touch. I get another pack for Wayne to enjoy later.
As I make my way out of the marche, all the people selling cheeses, olives and tapenades invite me to sample their wares. I’m kind of full, but it’s a good opportunity for Wayne to try a lot of delicious Provencal products for free. He particularly enjoys the the sundried tomato,caper, anchovies, basil, garlic tapenade and the brebis cheese.
As I stagger food-drunk through the old town, I make my customary stop at the window of the bakery and ogle the michettes. Only today, I go inside and order an assortment. For Wayne. They’re yeasty little rolls filled with all kinds of savory things. Onions, saucisses, chorizo, tuna, spinach, ratatouille, several varieties of cheese, etc, etc. You could definitely make a well-balanced meal out of them. The chorizo and chevre ones are particularly good.
I’m not sure if it’s me or Wayne, but one of us is starting to feel a little sick and needs to lie down. On the way home, I can’t help noticing a beautiful little cake in the window of another bakery.
I start thinking that we really haven’t had any fruit and this cake is full of fresh strawberries. On the other hand, it’s a little pricey, I’m pretty stuffed, and I think I’ve fulfilled my going away lunch commitment. But it looks so delicious.
Then it hits me. I think Wayne’s birthday is coming up. So I buy it. Anything for Wayne.
Filed under: Antibes, fine dining, food, dining, fine dining, french cuisine, local merchant, macaron, pastry, patisserie, Provence, tourism | Tagged: Antibes, food, marche provencal, michette, mojito macaron, nougat, socca |