Every July 14th the French throw a celebration so big that it’s heard around the world. Known as Bastille Day or la fête nationale, the holiday marks the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789, a turning point in the French Revolution. Where there are expats and Francophiles, there will be a party – no matter what part of the world. Read on to find a way to join in the celebration.
Bastille Day is celebrated in cities across the United States, but all eyes are on the famous military parade held in Paris. To keep people safe, it was announced that France will not hold the traditional Bastille Day military parade this year, but will replace it with a ceremony that pays tribute to health workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. This Bastille Day will certainly be different than any other. So how can you make le quatorze juillet a special day this year? We have some simple ideas here.
Sing the Anthem
Enjoy the rousing national anthem, La Marseillaise, sung by Mireille Mathieu – and learn the lyrics so you can sing along.
Eat French Food
The French are know for their joie de vivre, excellent wine, but most of all – their cuisine. So important is the Gastronomic Meal of the French – where family and friends come together to enjoy good food and drink – that it was declared a “World Intangible Heritage” by UNESCO in 2010. Celebrate that togetherness and plan a meal with our French Favorites collection which includes foie gras, caviar, charcuterie, duck breast and so much more. Add a baguette and a bottle of wine, and voila!
Cook French Food with Ariane
This year, the Consulate General of France in NY has planned a series of virtual events for the week of Bastille Day. There are activities for children and adults, including a cooking class with our own Ariane. She will walk attendees through a wonderful and easy recipe for poussin with mushrooms. The ingredients you will need are in her event listing, and are available at dartagnan.com.
Find all United for Bastille Day events here and join in the fun!
Pétanque is much like bocce, but in this French version the balls are made of steel. Ariane has been playing since she was a child, and even built a pétanque court at the D’Artagnan office in NJ so she can practice (and teach other staff members to play). Cities around the world hold pétanque tournaments for Bastille Day (and D’Artagnan always fields a team in NYC) but this year, social distancing may change that.
The equipment is inexpensive, and pétanque is a great game for the backyard. You can roll the boules on almost any surface – grass, sand, gravel – and it’s an easy game to learn. Watch the video below for the rules, order your own set of regulation boules, pour some Ricard and get started!
Picnic in Style
In France it is traditional to celebrate Bastille Day with a picnic. This year we won’t be gathering en masse in the parks as usual, but you can find a private spot to set up a spread – even your own backyard. Charcuterie is de rigueur at a picnic, so pack our saucisson sec, pâté de campagne and duck rillettes along with some cheese, fruit and bread or crackers. Although insulated bags are convenient, elevate your picnic with a proper basket like this one, which we like because it holds two bottles of wine.
Watch a French Film
Stay in and watch some classic French cinema. Immerse yourself in the works of great filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut – among the many other giants of film. Timeout has a list of the best French movies to get you started and French Flicks has recommendations along with a handy guide to streaming films.
Shop our French Favorites and enjoy tasty treats for Bastille Day – or any other day!
Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at dartagnan.com, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.
Are you a business looking to serve or sell D’Artagnan? We invite both chefs and food retailers to reach out and become D’Artagnan customers.