Just how Juneteenth marks the day in Texas in 1865 when 250,000 enslaved people were liberated —letting freedom finally ring for all — Bastille Day is a French holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, in a violent uprising that helped usher in the French Revolution.
Also known as la fête nationale, July 14th is celebrated each year with parades and fireworks in France in a country-wide celebration, similar to what used to be how we celebrated the 4th of July. And if you’ve ever been in France to mark the occasion, then you already know it’s a moment, and should be experienced by all.
Just like many of us have spent the past several months social distancing outdoors, many French people enjoy picnics outside with loved ones and friends enjoying good drinks and good food while watching fireworks. And while none of us will be hopping on a flight to Paris anytime soon, you can still celebrate in spirit — over lots and lots of French wines, cheeses and baguettes, of course.
Here are a few ideas for planning your Bastille Day celebration at home.
Taste your way through France’s delicious cheeses.
If only Bastille Day were everyday, so we could enjoy delicious, fatty and delightful French cheeses. And CheesesofEurope.com has plenty of options and recipes for you to splurge for your Bastille Day celebration. Looking for the crème de la crème? Triple crème is the creamiest soft rind cheese on earth. Spread Brillat-Savarin on bread or crackers and enjoy with Champagne during your Bastille themed picnic in the park. Or, try it for a delightful dessert with fresh fruit. Comté on the other hand has an intriguing, complex flavor that can include hints of apricot, chocolate, butter, cream, hazelnuts and toast. Enjoy Comté in cubes, on a sandwich, melted in fondue, or grated and sprinkled on your favorite dishes. Any way you like it, serve Comté with a French dry white or light red wine. While the sharp, nutty, fruity taste of Mimolette also includes sweet hints of butterscotch, its brilliant orange color makes it the focus of any cheese platter. Try Mimolette with a rustic red wine or ale. Or taste test your way through CheesesofEurope.com recipes such as The French Onion, The Money, or Bacon Wrapped Dates with Bleu d’Auvergne.
Immerse yourself in French culture.
Explore the richness of French culture from the comfort of your home with a French Institute Alliance Française virtual membership! Stream the best of French cinema, hear from leading French writers, chefs, vintners, and artists, and read French books and magazines online with this virtual ticket to France. If that’s not enough, they also offer online French classes, so when outside finally opens up, you’ll be fluent in no time!
Treat yourself to classic French wines and spirits.
Perhaps the best part of Bastille Day is the celebratory toast. And France has no shortage of options. Straight from Champagne, France, choose from Moët Imperial, Allimant Laugner Alsace Cremant Rose, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, La Chapelle Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sautern, Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008, Krug Rosé, and Ruinart Rosé, or opt for the iconic French 75 cocktail. Regal and steeped in French heritage, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur is produced at a magnifique château nestled in Cour-Cheverny in the Loire Valley, located in the Chambord province in France.