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 Jul 13 2022

Fête Nationale Française - Pot Au Feu From France

Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national day of France, which is celebrated annually on July 14. In French, it is formally called Fête nationale française, and legally le 14 juillet, "the 14th of July". It commemorates the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille in 1789, a major event of the French Revolution.

Celebrations are held throughout France, mainly as a day of leisurely family activities and festivities, adorned with a splendid military parade displaying French and allied power on the Champs-Elysées. In the evening, fireworks and popular dancing festivities take place throughout the country.

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The excellence of French cuisine and restaurants has long represented a vital part of French national identity. The agriculturally fertile soil in France provides abundant fruits, vegetables, grains and meat throughout the year. However, since France is composed of different regions having their own culture, a unique national cuisine does not really exist, many of the recipes being proliferated in variations across the country.

The list of potential "National dishes" in France includes soupe à l'oignon, bouillabaisse, bœuf bourguignon, coq au vin, cassoulet, steak frites, jambon-beurre, quiche lorraine, salade Niçoise, ratatouille, tarte tatin, crépes, macarons, croissants, baguette, and many more. However, the most widely accepted common dish across the nation is the pot-au-feu.

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Pot-au-feu is made from cuts of meat, which are cooked for a prolonged period of time hence the term "pot on fire". Other ingredients include vegetables like carrots, parsnips, turnips, white cabbages, onions, herbs and some spices. Pot-au-feu is served with Dijon mustard, gherkins or horseradish sauce.

Traditionally cooked in great vats, it is ideal for sharing; and being made with simple, but tasty ingredients, it is gloriously wholesome; maybe the French equivalent of a big woolly blanket on a cold winters evening. Sit down for Sunday lunch with a French family and you will see that there is something about it that is redolent, if not of liberté, then certainly of egalité and fraternité.

Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command

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