Happy Bastille Day! While la fête nationale is celebrated every year on le 14 juillet in France, FIAF's annual street fest took place two days ago in la Nouvelle-York. Below is a sampling from this year's Bastille Day on 60th Street.
Booths offering freshly prepared Gallic snacks and packaged foods lined the three blocks between Fifth and Lexington Avenues.
Simply Gourmand featured a number of items for the pantry, including the extra-spicy Amora L'Extra Forte Dijon mustard. (The quotidian Amora is the analogous Gallic version of French's "classic" American yellow mustard.)
A notch or two higher is the delicious Maille, whose Cognac mustard is outstanding. Other flavors include Noix, Bleu, Basilic, and Crème de Cassis de Dijon.
Mange-ing merguez on le 14 is akin to eating hot dogs on the Fourth; having this grilled lamb sausage is de rigueur on Bastille Day.
While merguez is typically served within a sandwich stateside, the sausage is eaten sans bread—using knife and fork—in France. Alas, in Le Souk's Franco-American adaptation, the baguette masked much of the flavor of the spicy little sausages.
As in Paris, there were crêpe stands everywhere. Unlike Paris, however, these thin pancakes were considerably larger and far less delicate than their French cousins.
The most popular (and slowest) among the foregoing stands was that of the Crêpe Café, whose filling choices included traditional sugar, Nutella, ice cream, and the all-time French classic, PB & J.
Even after seeing how it was prepared, I rather enjoyed the simple butter sugar crêpe.
Other sweets included the canelé, a Bordelais speciality. This baked delight consists of a dark, caramelized shell encasing a moist, custard-like center. In Bordeaux, it's often served with crème anglaise.
The sweet treats from Canelé by Céline were good enough to be served in Bordeaux.
As always, the chocolatine, er, pain au chocolat from Olivier Dessyn's Mille-Feuille was excellent.
Some tasty freebies …
Savory milk and dark chocolate samples from Magique
Cookie samples from St Michel
While the outdoor events were free, the Champagne & Chocolate Tasting and the Wine, Cheese, Cocktails, and Beer sampling required an entrance fee.
Bastille Day on 60th Street
60th Street between Fifth and Lexington Avenues
Sunday, 12 July 2015, 12:00 Noon till 5:00 P.M.