round white ceramic bowl with seafoods

National Bouillabaisse Day

December 14

When is National Bouillabaisse Day?

National Bouillabaisse Day happens on Saturday December 14, 2024.

The Soul of Marseille: National Bouillabaisse Day on December 14th

From the azure waters of the Mediterranean emerges a dish that captures the very essence of coastal France: Bouillabaisse. A hearty fisherman’s stew brimming with the flavors of the sea, Bouillabaisse has long been celebrated as a culinary masterpiece. And on December 14th, we unite in homage to this iconic dish with National Bouillabaisse Day.

The Humble Beginnings

Bouillabaisse finds its roots in the bustling port city of Marseille. Originally conceived by local fishermen, it was a means to utilize the fish that weren’t suitable for selling, combining various types into a flavorful broth. The name itself derives from the method of preparation: “boil” and “simmer” (bouillir and abaisser in French).

Crafting Authentic Bouillabaisse

Though there are numerous interpretations worldwide, a few elements remain sacred to a traditional Bouillabaisse:

  1. Variety of Fish: Ideally, you’d use at least three types. Common choices include sea robin, European conger, and red rascasse.
  2. Herbs and Spices: The aromatic blend of leeks, onions, tomatoes, and a bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, bay leaf) is crucial. The addition of orange peel, fennel, and saffron gives it that distinctive taste.
  3. Rouille: A garlicky mayonnaise-like sauce that accompanies the dish, usually spread on crusty bread.

Evolving Tastes

While the base remains true to its origins, contemporary chefs have added their twists, incorporating shellfish, different varieties of herbs, and even unique fish blends.

Celebrating National Bouillabaisse Day

  • Cooking at Home: Venture into preparing your own pot of Bouillabaisse. It’s not just about the outcome; it’s the journey – the melding of flavors, the aroma wafting through your home, the satisfaction of crafting something authentically French.
  • Restaurant Excursions: Seek out local French eateries and savor their rendition of this Mediterranean marvel.
  • Culinary History: Dive deep into the origins and evolution of Bouillabaisse, understanding the nuances that transformed it from a simple fisherman’s stew to a gourmet delight.

A Dish Beyond Borders

Though quintessentially French, Bouillabaisse resonates with food enthusiasts across the globe. Its rich history, combined with its comforting warmth, makes it more than just a meal—it’s an experience. On December 14th, join in the celebration, be it by tasting or cooking, and let the spirit of Marseille touch your soul.

When does National Bouillabaisse Day happen next year?

National Bouillabaisse Day will happen on the following upcoming dates:

  • Sunday December 14, 2025
  • Monday December 14, 2026
  • Tuesday December 14, 2027
  • Thursday December 14, 2028
  • Friday December 14, 2029


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