It’s Road trip time and today it’s the Omelet Festival in Downtown Abbeville.
History of the Giant Omelette:
According to legend, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they decided to rest for the night near the town of Bessieres. Napoleon feasted on an omelette prepared by a local innkeeper which was such a culinary delight that he ordered the townspeople to gather all the eggs in the village and to prepare a huge omelette for his army the next day.
From this beginning, the omelette became a tradition to feed the poor of the village at Easter. It has also become the symbol of a world-wide fraternity, rich in friendship, tradition and cultural exchange, known as the Confrerie.
Abbeville’s Joining of the Giant Omelette:
In 1984, three members of the Chamber of Commerce (Emery “Bichon” Toups, Tracy Kays, and Sheri Meaux) attended the Easter Omelette Festival in Bessieres, France and were later knighted the first of Abbeville’s Chevaliers. They returned home with the determination to bring Abbeville closer to its French Heritage by hosting an omelette festival and joining the sisterhood of cities that celebrate the omelette – Bessieres, France; Frejus, France; Dumbea, New Caledonia; Granby, Quebec in Canada.; Malmedy, Belgium and Pigue, Argentina later joined the fraternity, bringing the number making seven locations to celebrate this festival annually. Abbeville’s Giant Omelette is truly an international festival.
Each year, foreign representatives from each of these cities are invited here to be knighted as chevaliers (chefs) into Abbeville’s Confrerie (fraternity). On Concord Street, which stretches from the majestic moss-covered live oak trees in historic Magdalen Square to the live oaks in front of the Vermilion Parish Courthouse, they help to prepare the 5000 egg Giant Cajun Omelette. They also come to experience the area’s joie de vivre, share its rich culture, meet and mingle with its people, and to make memories and friendships which last a lifetime. The omelette is then given away freely to all in attendance.
Come join in our Celebration and become closer to our French heritage through the cooking of the “Omelette of Friendship”
Preparation of Abbeville’s “5000 Egg” Giant Omelette
5000 Eggs + 1 for each year the festival has existed !
50 lbs. Onions
75 Bell Peppers
4 Gallons Onion Tops
2 Gallons Parsley
1 1/2 Gallons Cooking Oil
6 1/2 Gallons Milk
52 lbs. Butter
3 Boxes Salt
2 Boxes Black Pepper
15 lbs of Louisiana Crawfish Tails
TABASCO® Pepper Sauce (to taste)
The Confrerie members gather to crack the eggs.
Pour eggs into 5-gallon buckets
Add salt, pepper, milk & TABASCO® Pepper Sauce
Blend with a unique mixing tool (you will have to attend to know what this is)
Set above ingredients aside.
Prepare skillet with oil and butter
Add onions & bell pepper, sauté
Add Louisiana crawfish, sauté
Add egg ingredients to the ingredients in the skillet on command.
Stir gently and merrily to the beat of the Cajun music in the background.
Just prior to completion add parsley & onion tops. Remove skillet from fire.
The Omelette is served free to all who gather to watch with a side of Poupart’s French Bread! C’est Bon!!
Preparation of the fire starts as early as 8:00 am on Sunday morning. The sand is placed on the roadway and the wood is expertly placed by our
Maitre du Feu Elray Schexnaider. The fire is actually lit around 11:00 am to prepare for the cooking which starts around 1:30 pm.