One Small French Town Is Preparing For Its Annual 15,000 Egg Omelet

When preparing for an eggcellent Easter (Sorry, we had to!) you're probably used to whipping up an egg casserole recipe or dying eggs with spring colors to hide in the yard for the kiddos to find. But if you visit Bessières, France on Easter Monday, you'll find the folks there incorporate eggs into their Easter celebrations with a unique tradition. 

France is home to several "gastronomic brotherhoods," one of which includes volunteers from the Confrérie Mondiale des Chevaliers de l'Omelette Géante de Bessières — AKA the World Brotherhood of the Knights of the Giant Omelet — who converge upon Bessières every Easter season to make a giant omelet in the center of town. First held in 1973, the event has grown exponentially over the last 50 years, with the original omelet being made with around 2,000 eggs.

To make the massive omelet, volunteers don tall chefs' hats and stir the eggs in a huge pan with giant wooden oars. The omelet uses 15,000 eggs, 2 pounds of salt, 1 pound of pepper, lots of herbs, and 12 gallons of duck fat. An official taster is also appointed to ensure the omelet is just right, and once it's ready, the dish is served to thousands of spectators, nearly outnumbering the residents of Bessières, which boasts a population of about 5,000 (via The Washington Post).

The historic tradition of the Bessières omelet has spread internationally

The making of this 15,000 egg omelet isn't a random occurrence someone just thought up one day, it's actually based on a legend involving none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. Supposedly, one morning after Bonaparte's troops spent the night in Bessières, he so thoroughly enjoyed an egg omelet recipe prepared by a local chef that he insisted a giant version of the tasty egg concoction be made for his army to enjoy as well. And so the tradition began! (via NBC News).

As of 2023, the Easter tradition is not only celebrated in Bessières but has spread to other cities around the world with ties to France. For example, the town of Abbeville, Louisiana, makes two massive omelets — albeit in November rather than at Easter time — an adult version using 5,000 eggs and another for children using 600 eggs. The so-called "Omelette of Friendship" also contains, in true Louisiana fashion, locally-sourced crawfish (via Giant Omelette).