Every Easter, the Brotherhood of the Giant Omelette gathers, as they have for decades, in Bessières, France, to crack more than 15,000 eggs, cook a giant omelette, and distribute portions to thousands of observers who flock to the festivities.
According to a foundational story, Napoleon Bonaparte, while visiting the area, enjoyed his eggs so much that he asked that a giant omelette be prepared for his troops. So now, each Easter, the cooks don chef’s whites and toques. Wielding enormous wooden spoons that look more like oars, they stir the eggs in a massive pan over an open fire in the town square. The multi-day festival invariably includes dancing, music, or parades, but the omelette-making is the main event.
The organization, which is also known as the Knights of the Giant Omelette, takes their mission seriously: “to prepare and serve, free of charge and full of joy, a giant omelette.” The first event, in the ’70s, used a few thousand eggs. It’s not only grown in egg count, but leapt borders: Local chapters cook giant omelettes in six other cities, from neighboring Fréjus, France, to Pigüé, Argentina.
Need to Know
While Bessières is on a several decade run of giant omelettes, other cities are relative newcomers, so it's wise to confirm their participation each year. The Bessières organization's website lists participating towns and cities, along with the date of the festival at each (which is not always Easter).
Where to Try It
AbbevilleAbbeville, Louisiana, United States
This Louisiana town cooks over 5,000 eggs each November.
Malmedy Giant Omelette FestivalMalmedy, Belgium
This vibrant and picturesque city hosts a Giant Omelette festival that incorporates concerts and street performers.