The historic saying, “Let them eat cake!” is a misconception that Queen Marie Antoniette made such a remonstration to the French monarchy as to suggest she felt strongly for the French peasantry. Some say this bit of history has been solidifying over the years. Perhaps a positive way of looking at how one woman living within the upper crust might have anticipated the reproach of the lower classes. It would be pleasant to imagine a queen telling her subjects to let the peasants eat cake… but this never happened 😦
The phrase is said to have originated from Jean-Jacques Rousseau‘s Confessions, which was written about the time Antoinette was 10 years old. There are various reasons as to why this saying has been attributed to her, but nonetheless.
July 14 is the French national holiday, la Fête du 14 juillet, but we’ll celebrate it on July 11 in Minnesota. Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, embedded into the collective conscious as the grand impetus of the French Revolution.
If you’re interested in making a tasty dessert in honor of this occasion, check out this recipe for brioche. For a short history lesson, the History Channel always has your back.
Looking to celebrate Bastille Day this year? Grab a pack of Gauloises and head down to West 7th Place in St. Paul for the Bastille Day celebration this Saturday, hosted by Alliance Française. Or, if you are part of the Minneapolis ilk, there’s no need to wonder why the streets are crowded in regular bacchanalian fashion as Barbette is hosting their own parade on the other side of town.
If you’re feeling antsy and want to get the party started a day early, a rather Italian event starts Friday, in the annual Basilica Block Party. So, there you go. Get your yearly dose of Italian and French culture all in the same weekend! The festivities begin July 10 and end July 11.