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Bastille Day 2015: What do the French eat on French National Day?

Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually uttered, “Let them eat cake,” remains a point of debate in history, but if you celebrate Bastille Day like the French, you’ll be having a feast. 

Bastille Day, or the French National Day, is Tuesday, July 14. It celebrates the start of the French Revolution in 1789, when swarms of people stormed the Bastille in Paris, which was being used as a prison, USA Today reports.

It was during the same year that Antoinette was alleged to have made her contentious remark, according to History Channel, before she was executed in 1793, just 37 years old. 

Turns out, the way the French party isn’t too different than how Americans celebrate the Fourth of July. Food is a big part of the celebration, much of which is on the grill to take advantage of the warm weather, Organic Authority reports

Between fireworks, which the French also enjoy on Bastille Day, pastries, quiches, soups and crepes are abundant in cafes and at food stands, according to La Madeleine


The French start their day with “Le petit dejeuner” or a breakfast spread of pastries, croissants and crepes, according to L’atelier des Chefs.


Le dejeuner, or lunch, takes center stage and can be a salad with quiche or sandwiches and wine, according to La Madeleine. 


Start dinner, or le diner, with a hearty soup, followed by two more courses and desserts of cookies, parfaits and pastries, suggests La Madeleine. 

Few things are more deliciously French or flexible at mealtime than quiche lorraine, which can be enjoyed at brunch or for a casual dinner. Try this recipe from Julia Child, the master of French cooking. 

Julia Child’s Quiche Lorraine
From Wives with Knives via “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”


  • 1 single-crust pie shell, well chilled 
  • 3 to 4 oz. lean bacon, sliced into ¼-inch segments. 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1½ to 2 cups cream or half-and-half 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • Pinch freshly ground pepper 
  • Pinch of nutmeg 
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. butter, cut into pea-sized bits 


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 9 minutes. 
  2. Remove the foil and pie weights and bake for 2 or 3 minutes more, until the shell starts to turn golden. 
  3. Remove from oven and reduce to 375 degrees.
  4. Prepare the filling. Over medium heat, cook the bacon slices until lightly browned. Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Once the bacon is cooled, scatter over the bottom of the partially-baked pastry shell. Beat cream or half-and-half with eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg until blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bacon slices into the hot pastry shell and sprinkle the butter on top. 
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. 
Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron

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