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Pan-Bagnat: The Southern Sun in Your Hands

pan bagnat

Based on round bread, raw vegetables, anchovies or hard-boiled eggs, this sandwich, also called “dish of the poor”, is a real traditional culinary specialty from Nice. Beware of those who would like to add fancy ingredients to please tourists such as smoked salmon, ham or mayonnaise! The defenders of its authenticity are fighting against these sacrileges and have in fact set up a label for authentic Pan-Bagnat.

Originally, Pan-Bagnat means “wet bread”, in this case with a little water and fresh tomato juice, without olive oil. This “poor man’s dish” made from stale hard bread and anchovies, much less expensive than tuna, has evolved over the time. At first considered the 9-hour snack for fishermen as it was easily transportable, it was later modified with the addition of olive oil and tuna, elevating it to the rank of a bourgeois dish.

Let’s now put ourselves in the shoes of a starred chef to talk about its millimeter-sized composition. Thierry Marx opened a snack bar in Nice that offered Pan-Bagnat with chicken and honey. Attractive, isn’t it? Well, not for the defenders of the French culinary heritage who have risen up against this affront. We’re not touching the traditional recipe. Drizzled with olive oil, the ingredients used are hard-boiled eggs, tuna and/or anchovies, black olives, artichokes, radishes, green peppers, broad beans or basil leaves. Previously opened and rubbed with a clove of garlic, the bread, usually round, measures 15 to 20 cm in diameter. You are not a cordon bleu? Don’t panic, many typical institutions in Nice serve this lunch sandwich under the Nice sun. In the Liberation district, Chez Tintin will know how to satisfy you and make you savor the real recipe of this bread bathed in oil (don’t worry, even Weight Watchers authorizes these small excesses of lipids).

Just passing through Nice? The Haussmann Real Estate agency suggests that you taste this speciality from Nice, which is available in most of the bakeries in the city, or even better, find your  home in Nice or surroundings and taste it all year round.

 

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Posted by Jeanette on 8 March 2021
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