Today is National Acadian Day. August 15, the day celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, was the date chosen in 1881 at the first National Convention of the Acadians to remember the Acadians who were deported from New Brunswick by the English between 1755 and 1763.
Pinning down the definition of Acadia is a difficult task – the answer varies from region to region and depends on who you talk to. Generally, the main qualification is defining the “Acadianity” of a community – meaning the sense of belonging to the Acadian culture. But it also depends on genealogy, history and of course, use of the French language. Acadians are mainly found in the Canadian Maritimes, the province of Quebec and in the states of Maine or Louisiana.
So what do you eat on National Acadian Day? How about some “fricot”, which is a soup with potatoes, carrots, corn and chicken. Follow that up with “grated poutine”, which are potatoes stuffed with meat. For dessert, stifle your giggles and sample a “pet de soeur” (nun’s fart), a pastry rolled with brown sugar topped off with maple syrup.
Happy National Acadian Day!
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on August 15, 2009.