Fêtes de Bayonne: Omelette aux Piments in Basque Country

The most famous Bull-fighting festival in the world may be in Pamplona, but the gigantic Fêtes de Bayonne in the Basque region of France features not only bull-fighting, but a festival dedicated to omelettes (Championnat du monde d’omelette aux piments) at the end of every July. Indeed, there is an championship for nearly everything, and this one has been running since 2004One of the most emblematic foods of the French Basque county, Omelettes aux Piments (Omelette with Peppers) is an egg dish with potatoes and the famous sweet Espelette peppers (piments doux in French or Ezpeletako bipera in Basque).

Fetes de Bayonne

Fetes de Bayonne by Greg.road.trip

Espelette peppers are a mild red pepper originally from Mexico, and were brought to France in the 16th century, but they are so much a part of Basque cuisine that they have governmental status as a protected destination of origin product. In the town of Espelette, it is not uncommon to see large strings of Espelette peppers drying in the sun. French Basque Country, which is in Southwestern France, and shares a border with Spain, is known for their unique cuisine, and the Omelette aux Piments marries both the Spanish and French influences (classic French egg omelette and Spanish tortilla)Eat Live Travel Write has a wonderful write-up of the entire Bayonne Fest, along with coverage of the Omelette Championship. The Chopping Block has an omelette recipe calling for Espelette peppers. Another use for Espelette peppers is in Piperade, a typical French Basque condiment used on almost anything.

EspelettePeppers

Espelette Peppers in Espelette, France, by Franck Barre

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