Sprinkle some tasty bits of bread onto your plate and sit down for a fun National Crouton Day celebration, every year on May 13. You can fry them, bake them, or infuse them with flavors from around the world — this versatile food is simply the topping on your food, but what a delicious one it is! Packed with flavor and crunch, croutons are faithful, ever-present, and absolutely lovely.
History of National Crouton Day
For hundreds of years now, people have been making some form of croutons to use up their stale bread. Stale bread has been used in dishes (mostly soups) since medieval times.
The versatile crouton first showed up in France and it referred to bread crusts that were cut into small pieces and were served with drinks. Some people think croutons were inspired by French biscotti and other ancient baked goods. There’s even a famous folk tale about croutons on the internet! As the tale goes, knight-turned-diplomat Sir Edgar Crouton was posted to England, although no one knew how he got the job, ill-mannered as he was. While dining with the king of England one night — something he was frequently required to do as a diplomat — Sir Crouton was served soup and bread together. In his haste to eat, he accidentally dropped several pieces of bread into his soup and could not fish them out as the king was watching. At a loss, he simply stuffed everything into his mouth, bread, soup, and all. Thankfully, this tasted delicious. Sir Crouton decided this dish needed a new name, and, realizing that no such name existed, honored this dish with his own.
Family-owned American company Rothbury Farms decided to host a special day to celebrate this humble bread dish. They founded this day in 2015 and America has been celebrating this crunchy complement to food ever since.
National Crouton Day timeline
The connection between soup and stale bread starts here, when soup is served in sops, aka pieces of stale bread.
The name for ‘crouton’ appears for the first time in French print.
Described as 'a little piece of bread crust served with drinks', croutons first appear on the scene in France.
The “Oxford English Dictionary” traces the word usage back to this year.
Several American cookbooks show various crouton recipes.
U.S.-based crouton company Rothbury Farms declares there should be a special 'crouton' day.
May 13 is celebrated annually as National Crouton Day across America.
National Crouton Day FAQs
What are croutons good for?
Croutons are usually added to salads, but they can also be used in soup, chili, stuffing, meatloaf, scrambled eggs, and other dishes.
When were croutons invented?
We do not know where and how croutons originated, although most people believe they came from France in the 17th century, as the name crouton comes from a French word, ‘croûte’.
What does crouton mean?
A crouton is a small cube of crispy fried or toasted bread.
How To Celebrate National Crouton Day
Eat some croutons
Top any dish with a helping of croutons. If you are not a salad person, try some croutons with soup, pudding, and anything that strikes your fancy. Check out some creative ways to crouton up your dish online.
Host a crouton-themed potluck party, with variations
Get creative by coming up with multiple crunchy crouton variations like nuts, chopped cucumber, slices of carrot, etc. Invite guests to come up with their own variations and see who can be the most creative.
Share the crouton love
Wear your love for croutons on your sleeve. Share your crouton-inspired dishes and party ideas online, and let others get in on the fun too.
5 Fun Facts About Croutons
Bread-related foods often have french names
This is because the French love bread and are the source of much of these names!
The word crouton has French roots
The word crouton is derived from the French word 'croûte' which means 'crust' — crouton is actually the diminutive form of the word, so it translates to 'little crust' in French.
Croutons are sold by the bag
Across North America, a variation of the crouton — dried and cubed instead of buttered and oiled — is sold in large bags to be used in Thanksgiving dishes.
A Latin word inspired the name
The French 'croute' or 'croustade' and the English 'crouton' were all inspired by the Latin word 'crusta,' which means 'shell' or ‘crust.’
Croutons are not the healthiest topping
Croutons are considered an unhealthy salad topping and one half-cup of croutons can add around 100 calories to your dish unless the crouton is made from healthy grains and is baked.
Why We Love National Crouton Day
We get to eat croutons
Who doesn't love that crunch when you bite into freshly made croutons? Celebrating this day gives us carte blanche to devour croutons to our heart’s content and that makes us very happy!
Learning about croutons is fun
The history of croutons is amazing! These humble slices of bread have traveled the world and are now gracing our plates. Learning about them makes the eating experience much more fun.
We learn about the etymology of ‘crouton’
How the word came to be is a great way to not only acquire some general knowledge but expand our understanding of how the world is connected. Exploring this etymology makes us see beyond borders and languages to a world connected by a common thread — food.
National Crouton Day dates