The Giant Omelette Festival is held in seven different locations around the world however the biggest of these is the town of Abbeville in Louisiana, USA where more than five thousand eggs are used during the making of the omelette. The festival actually has its roots many miles away in a town called Bessieres in Northern France.
The story goes that the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte stopped to spend the night with his troops in the town of Bessieres. He was served an omelette that evening and he enjoyed it so much he requested all the eggs in Bessieres be gathered and cooked the next morning to make a giant omelette that would feed his men. And so the tradition began that every year the local people celebrated by cooking a giant omelette to feed the whole town.
The Bessieres festival is held on Easter Monday and has been running for over forty years. There is even a committee called the Global Omelette Committee so called because the idea spread to other countries in the world. The committee members enter into the spirit of the festival and parade through the streets of the village dressed in red and green. The omelette is given freely to all who attend the festival.
The celebrations in Abbeville, Louisiana, grew and now it’s a festival like no other with authentic Cajun food, dancing and live music, market stalls and of course the making of the Giant Omelette. An interesting fact about the festival in Abbeville is that an egg is added every year to cement the friendship of the participating countries. This year the festival was on the 6th November and the omelette was made using 5028 eggs. The other countries that are involved in the Giant Omelette Festival are Granby in Quebec (Canada), Dumbea in New Caledonia (South Pacific), Malmedy in Belgium and Pigue in Argentina.
The festival in Louisiana has now become extremely significant due to its integration with the local cuisine. The mixing of French, Spanish, English and Native American influences have given rise to the now globally renowned Cajun form of cooking. Once the ceremonies are over the omelette is distributed among the townspeople and visitors. The cooking is also a community event where the entire town and volunteers from outside gather together to display their zest for the tradition. The event promotes friendship and cultural exchange while also imbibing a bit of glorious French history.