cooking insights
you can trust


facts and tidbits

Where did the
Cassoulet originate?

In Languedoc, a province in southwestern France. Its independent-minded peasants created a bean dish worthy of the highest epicurean honors.

Where did you
travel in Languedoc?

I realized a suppressed desire: I drove through the back roads of rural Languedoc in search of the perfect Cassoulet.

My itinerary also took me through the crowded streets of Toulouse, Castelnaudary, and Carcassonne because these three cities are touted as having the finest urban Cassoulets in Languedoc. My taste buds discovered an even better source of the citified Cassoulet: Villefranche de Lauragais. It lies in the Cassoulet corridor between Toulouse and Castelnaudary. Please keep it a secret.

Are farmhouse
Cassoulets special?

They are even more exciting than urban versions, perhaps because these renditions are less codified. Each cook has his own cast of ingredients - in some pots smoked pork is the star, but in others it may be goose, duck, lamb, mutton, sausages, or another meat.

Is confit d'oie

Many armchair gourmets insist that if the dish is to be accorded the appellation Cassoulet, it must contain confit d'oie (preserved goose).

Not so. Though many Cassoulets in Languedoc contained this ingredient, I came across several equally authentic and ambrosial versions prepared without it. This is fortunate for foreign cooks, because quality confit d'oie is usually hard to come by outside of France. When it is available, confit d'oie is usually canned and, as such, is apt to degrade more than improve your dish. It's also ridiculously expensive,

What's most

It is slow cooking. Should the liquid boil, the beans will burst and begin to lose their skins.



Famous peasant dishes

Arroz Con Pollo  Spain
Cassoulet  France
Cha Chiang Mein  China
Couscous  Morocco
Houskove Knedliky  Czech Republic
Huevos Rancheros  Mexico
Nasi Goreng  Indonesia
Osso Buco  Italy
Oyako Donburi  Japan
Roghan Josh  India
Tom Yam Kung  Thailand
Vatapa  Brazil
Yalanci Dolma  Turkey

Peasant cuisine home page

Quick directory

Be peasant cuisine savvy

Understanding peasant cuisine

Be world cuisine savvy

Best 10 world cuisines

World wonders

Top 100
Top 1000


Site map
About my credentials & website
Reader testimonials
Email me your opinion