I have to tell you about one of my favorite things. Its name is Socca. It’s a very simple, very tasty, naturally gluten-free flatbread made from just chickpea flour, olive oil, water, and a few seasonings. It’s a popular street food in the south of France, particularly Nice, though its origins are just over the border in Italy where it’s called farinata.
Hmm. “Street food” and “France” don’t quite sound right together. It’s not like the French eat it out of hand while like, simultaneously walking or anything like that — non, non, they sit and eat it properly, off plates and all, and would never forgo pairing it with an apéritif of some sort, ideally a frosty glass of rosé. But I liken it to street food because sidewalk cafés in Nice often showcase the final product in plain view along the street, the better to tempt passersby. And the tables of these cafés spill onto the sidewalk, or the street itself, the better to sit and soak up the Mediterranean sun. And it’s definitely portable. You don’t need any cutlery to eat it, just some napkins.
In Europe you cannot throw a rock without hitting a cathedral. There’s probably a clever pun there somewhere, but all I really mean to say is that there’s a lot of them. In America we may have a larger variety of churches of different denominations, one on every corner sometimes, but Europe dominates in centuries-old, beautiful Catholic cathedrals. They seem to punctuate every skyline, whether you’re in a major metropolitan area or a tiny village in the country.
I’ve had the opportunity to see some really beautiful churches during my travels and adventures. Each time I step inside one to admire its architecture, its tranquility, or its shelter, I always think of my dad, and how much he would love seeing what I’m seeing. The feeling is strongest, of course, whenever I’m inside an old-world Catholic cathedral, my dad’s chosen faith. So to wish him a Happy Father’s Day, I’ve put together a collection of the most interesting ones I’ve got on digital record.
It turns out I’ve got quite a few, far too many for one post. Since I’m kind of going with a French theme at the moment, this will be the “French edition.” Future editions may be forthcoming… I’m thinking an African Edition would be fun, and there’s also temples, mosques, synagogues… so much variety. Next week we’ll be exploring Jewish culture during our stay in Kazimierz, Kraków. But in the meantime, I hope you like this one, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!!