It’s not often that a dish gets its own day on the calendar, but Provençal fish stew is so special that December 14th is named National Bouillabaisse Day. Seafood lovers, read on to learn more about celebrating this culinary delight.
A day for seafood lovers
You’ve heard of Labour Day and Vesak Day, but have you ever heard of a day just for eating fish stew? Seafood lovers rejoice every December 14th when National Bouillabaisse Day rolls around. No one is quite sure when the holiday was invented, but no one can say no to a taste of bouillabaisse on any day of the year.
This tongue-twister of a dish (say ‘boo-ya-bess‘) is a French delicacy made from succulent fish, additional seafood, vegetables and a rich broth seasoned with numerous aromatic spices. If you love the taste of the ocean and feel like celebrating this foodie day, you can cook your own bouillabaisse or order some for delivery. In the meantime, read on to learn more about its mythology, how it’s made, and how to enjoy it.
- The name comes from the preparation
Wondering how this dish got its complex name? It actually comes from the way the fish is cooked. It’s a combination of two Provençal Occitan verbs: bolhir (to boil) and abaissar (to simmer).
- It dates back to Ancient Marseille
You may be surprised to learn that its origins date all the way back to Marseille in 600 BC. In fact, it’s so old that when it was first invented, Marseille was actually Greek territory. There, Ionian fishermen used a tripod cooking pot to brew a stew called kakavia. That dish evolved to become the bouillabaisse we know today and contained many of the same ingredients, including saffron. Since then, however, this dish has become associated more with upper-class diners than humble fishermen.
- It contains several types of fish
The reason bouillabaisse is so rich and filling is that each bowl contains several types of fish. Most chefs agree that this stew needs at least three varieties of fish: sea robin, red scorpionfish and European conger eel. However, many chefs mandate that it should include even more seafood: monkfish, hake, mussels, octopus and spider crab are all common additions.
- It’s served in two courses
Another unique thing about bouillabaisse is that it’s actually served in two different courses. The first course is the broth made with all manner of herbs and spices, from bay leaf to saffron. The fish is cooked with the vegetables and served on a separate plate, leaving diners to combine the two themselves. Both are also eaten with grilled bread and rouille, a mayonnaise made from olive oil, garlic, saffron and more.
Dip into bouillabaisse with foodpanda
Thankfully, if you fancy trying authentic bouillabaisse this December 14th, you don’t need to travel all the way to Europe. Just order a delivery of this fish stew from The Communal Place or Mon Bijou at Claymore Connect.