Bastille Day

Bleu Blanc Rouge

[Blue, White, and Red]

Today is the French national holiday, known in the English-speaking world as Bastille Day, but simply referred to as le 14 juillet in France.

I wish I could offer some sort of culinary tradition tied to this holiday, but as I explained in this past post, there is none: the celebrations revolve mainly around fireworks, military parades (I had to interrupt the typing of this post to watch the planes cross the sky above us, on their way to the Champs-Elysées), and dances. There may be grilled merguez vendors on the sidewalk here and there, but that’s about it.

That’s not to say, however, that one can’t have a blue, white, and red lunch to mark the occasion: something tomato (say, a salad of coeur de boeuf tomatoes), something dairy (such as a Bordier yogurt from Saint-Malo), and something blueberry (ideally, a blueberry tart).

Joyeux 14 juillet! How are you going to celebrate?

  • Joyeux 14 juillet, Clotilde! Have a wonderful lunch!

  • Look at those gorgeous tomatoes! Wish we had blueberries in southern Italy…I miss them so! Enjoy your day :)

  • Heather

    C’est mon anniversaire, aussi! I love your idea for a Bastille Day lunch!

  • Lil

    my friends and i are heading to a restaurant this evening for a 7-course feast (with 3 wines to go with the meal too)…

    bonne fete nationale to you too!

  • It’s our first wedding anniversary so we’ll drink some millesimé Martel champagne (“Romance”) from the year we met (2000), and dine on quiche and green salad made from fixin’s from our organic food share. I used the rainbow Swiss Chard – it sure is pretty in the quiche, I hope it tastes good! We had filet mignon at the wedding, I might pick up a piece as a surprise for my husband since he’s on the fence about the quiche.

    Then we’ll head out to a Bastille Day party with live music and dancing. Can’t wait!

  • Gary

    I love the coeur de boeuf tomatoes, I wish someone would start growing them in the US!

    I had some the last time I was in France, and I think they were the best tomatoes I have ever eaten.

  • Raji

    Happy Bastille Day!

  • Joyeux 14 juillet! Ici ce sera un barbecue entre amis et des verrines de fruits-creme patissiere aux couleurs du drapeau!

  • Jeff

    Being my birthday and all, some friends are taking me out to a french bistro out here in San Jose. Every year for Bastille Day they hold a huge celebration, involving performers in the park and a poodle parade (which always makes me chuckle).


  • Beautiful photos. I wish I had a Blueberry Tart here in Los Angeles. The festivities, while with no food should prove fun regardless.

  • Absolutely gorgeous food combo. Will have to use for my next Fourth of July celebration in the U.S.

  • A Munich, bal du 14 juillet selon la tradition à l’Institut français! C’est déjà ça.

  • We went to the most depressing celebration for Bastille Day yesterday at Seattle Center. They did have a Citroen exhibit that was rather wonderful, but other than that it was less than joyous.

  • What a beautiful way to celebrate any day… Happy 14th!

  • Hannah Lee

    For the Fourth of July in the U.S. this year, my daughter and I made parfaits with strawberries, blueberries and vanilla yogurt. Yummy and much easier than the fruit-filled shortcakes I’d made for another year.

  • No tomatoes, but red strawberries in the fridge. I’m not in France, but red, white, and blue food can be enjoyed everywhere!

    Have a great le 14 juillet!

  • A French holiday? That doesn’t revolve around food? I’m glad you’re making up for that. :) Now I think I’ll go grab a handful of blueberries.

  • Rachel

    I love your bleu-blanc-rouge lunch – reminds me of the time several friends and I (under the influence of Kieslowski, I think) decided to do a series of blue, white and red potluck dinners. Perhaps not surprisingly, we only ever managed to do the red one…

  • Happy Bastille Day!
    I celebrated with a nice glass of French white wine.

  • Joyeux 14 juillet! I believe that the merguez vendors would bring a smile to my face! I have to echo Erin’s sentiment above about Seattle’s showing–they are trying, but the Francophile population here has only a tiny festival.

  • Andrew

    Well we’ve had the Fête nationale du Québec (Saint Jean Baptiste Day) on the 24th June and Canada Day on the 1st July, now it’s the Fête Nationale and who can forget the 4th July in the US? & the Calgary Stampede all last week marked by overindulgence of all kinds.

    Whatever your celebration or Fête, have a good one!

  • Your blueberry tart sounds great. Up until now, I’ve been making Lydie Marshall’s version from her book Chez Nous, but will have to try yours. Right now my fridge is full of blueberries!

  • I hope you had a wonderful holiday! Love the pictures! The colors reminded me of the movie trilogy. Those were really wonderful and I keep meaning to buy them.

  • Jody

    It was my birthday, too, yesterday! A pretty sedate affair given that we have an almost-one-year old, but when I was little, we used to fly a French flag from a pole attached to our garage door, just to keep the neighbors guessing (this was in a suburb of Detroit, and we’re not French :)

  • Isabelle

    I celebrated by making your blueberry tart recipe for my expat husband who was longing for it. I wish we had the variety of blueberry that you find in France; smaller and a little more tart than the ones we find in the states. He was very pleased with it and it was really a delight.

  • Lisa C

    Mmm, blueberry tart – I’ll have to try the recipe. I celebrated by trying some macaron ice cream sandwiches at a bakery in L.A. So good! Wrote the whole story on my blog:

  • Brenda

    I made the blueberry tart today.
    While the flavor was great with
    the wild berries I used, the crust
    stuck to the tart pan big time. The
    crust has a nice flavor but wondering
    what went wrong. I followed the
    directions correctly. Instead of
    baking the crust 20 minutes per the
    recipe, next time I will try 5.

  • I smiled when I saw you mentioned merguez as that is what we had for supper, all sizzling from the barbeque. The supper we had wasn’t nearly as patriotically pretty as your lunch. Our supper was only accompanied by vinaigrette-dressed salad and followed up by eclairs.

  • Kim

    My Italian husband and I joined his best (Italian) friend and his (Italian) wife in the suburbs near Versailles for a bbq . . .I always enjoy Champagne no matter the occasion, but I have to say, it’s still weird for me, as an American, to have red wine at a bbq!! There wasn’t anything too French about our celebration except for the excellent cheese course after lunch .. .

  • well, we had 22 people over for drinks and amuse-bouches (including pissaladiere), followed by a 7 course sit-down dinner, all prepared (mostly) by yours truly with the help of some guests particularly at the outdoor fire pit. Although all the guests are Americans (some are francophone), the menu is written in French, and we end the evening by singing La Marseillaise and toasting with sparkling. It’s our 12th franco-american celebration, and this year the menu was:

    Salade de Melon & de Jambon de Campagne de Virginie au Combava
    Terrine De Porc & Cerf Sauvage Aux Pistaches
    Onions Rouges Vinaigrés
    Okra au Vinaigre
    Concombres à l’Aneth
    Sorbet de Pommes Vertes au Calvados
    Brochettes D’Agneau Grillées Au Thym & au Miel
    Legume du Jardin Grillés avec Sauce Basilique
    Compote de Tomates au Four
    Petite Salade Verte
    Plateau de Fromages
    Sept Desserts au Choix
    Coupe Melba Bleue
    Glace au Gingembre et Compote de Cerises
    Tarte Rustique aux Peches
    Pêches Pochées à la Verveine Citronelle & Fraises du Jardin
    Barres aux Myrtilles et Coco de Suzanne
    Tarte Rustique aux Prunes
    Brownies (avec ou sans glace)

    And 4 wines.

    A successful evening!

  • Happy 14th July!

    After teaching a session on the French Revolution and its links to the American Revolution for a Political Sociology course I’m teaching this summer, I found myself posting about French food in honor of the American independence celebration. Although no blue, white and red.

  • Hope you enjoyed the day. It was like a Sunday for us. The best part was the fireworks that night.

  • For Isabelle who posted on July 15, look for wild blueberries also called for huckleberries. They are harder to buy, but depending on where you are located, you can buy them … or pick them yourselves. Their flavor is much more intense.

  • Joan

    various blue white and red ribbons…wrapped around light fittings..’n joyous time I wish France and all those inhabiting that marvellous space…

  • I hope you had a great holiday! I ran the Nike Bastille day 5k race last week, here in Chicago. There was supposed to be a French themed block party after the race, but it poured down rain and soaked the party. Some summer I will celebrate in Paris!

  • Woa. That blueberry tart looks scrumptious! I could do with a slice or two (or three) of that right now please… ^^

  • miho

    I hope you had a nice holiday!
    Today I saw you in Tugalik on chikasan’s Japanese blog which I love her beautiful pics,and you seemed to enjoy your time in front of foods!And you are very cute!
    I love your blog,
    Have a nice summer!

  • Griffin

    Hmmm, how about strawberries or raspberries, creme fraiche and blueberries layered as a 14 Juillet dessert – perhaps in a pate sable ‘bucket’ so that you can ‘storm’ it?!

    Sadly I missed it entirely. It helped when I had a friend who’s birthday was 14 Juillet. I haven’t heard from her for years.

  • A&N

    Happy le 14 juillet !
    I’ve never seen tomatoes in the sape you’ve posted! They look very exotic.

  • Lisa

    Silly ex-pat friends (who live in Montmartre) have taken to referring to “bulles, blanc, rouge” as a major reason for our being here!

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