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November is a month of many moments including bonfire night, fireworks and, of course, the start of Christmas shopping for many! But living in Monaco, we have another reason to celebrate this month, Princes Day – or National Day, as it is also known.
The date is decided by the reigning Prince and is usually the day of the Saint they were named after. National Day, this year November 19, is a public holiday in Monaco and celebrated with fireworks and mass at St Nicholas Cathedral.
For an expat in Monaco, it’s a pleasure to witness this historic tradition and join in on the celebrations of the Principality. As everything comes back to food for me, National Day provided the perfect inspiration for this month’s recipe. I began to think about new foods I’ve come across since moving here and one of the first things that came to my mind was socca.
My first experience with this pancake-type food was at Monaco’s Christmas fair (this year in the Port from December 2 Dec until January 2, 2017). I came to learn that socca was a savoury food made from chickpea flour and as my interest in health and nutrition blossomed, it soon become a dish that I made at home for myself with the kids always adding in some exciting variations!!
Chickpea flour is also known as pois chiches (in French) or garbanzo bean flour. You can find it easily in all the organic (bio) stores in and around Monaco. The recipe itself couldn’t be easier – one part flour: one part water, a little olive oil and a pinch of salt – yet it’s highly nutritious due to chickpeas, which are a high protein and fibre food. Chickpea flour is gluten free and made from just one ingredient – chickpeas that are either raw or roasted before grinding into flour.
Since my introduction to socca years ago, I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with various recipes by adding in herbs, spices – and even grated cheese for my children; I’ve made super-size socca and mini ones (again for my children).
Try this delicious socca variation and let us know how you get on. Share with us your favourite traditional Monegasque foods on Instagram monacolife_ and naomis_kitchen. Head to Bouchon to try my delicious beetroot hummus Buddha Bowl on the lunchtime weekday menu.
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 cup (130 g) chickpea flour
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little more for cooking
2 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
2 small spring onions, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp basil, chopped
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp of chilli powder (use less if yours is hot!)
pinch of salt
Naomi’s TIP: For a kiddie-friendly version, try the basic recipe of chickpeas, water, olive oil and salt and add 1/4 grated cheese. We love Comte or Emmental.
This recipe should make 2 individual socca, depending on the size of your pan.
Join Naomi’s Mamma’s SOS workshop on Wednesday November 16 at the Monte Carlo Munchkins Club. Learn how to combat fussy-eating kids with some deliciously healthy recipes. Non-members can also attend. Email email@example.com for more info and to register.
The National Assembly has welcomed the latest graduates to the Principality’s Police Force.
An incredible 12-month time lapse video showing the creation of Monaco’s mammoth land extension project has just been released.
Monaco has a new bailiff, or huissier as known locally, who was sworn in earlier this week.
General crime rates in the Principality dropped by a significant 16% between the years 2016 and 2019, and street crime by an impressive 52%.