Wednesday food word: cassoulet

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Perfect for cooler weather and staying indoors to cook: it’s cassoulet.

A “farmhouse dish” and a rich concoction that’s often called a Languedoc classic, cassoulet is often white beans, sausages, sometimes mutton, pork and preserved duck or goose. It’s slow cooked for a long time, in many places of its origin in an earthenware pot.

The crispy crust on top yields to a creamy-rich interior, the result of the luscious beans having done their job.

Long-cook classic cassoulet/Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth David notes a funny story in French Provincial Cooking: in Castelnaudry, located in Occitanie (formerly Languedoc-Roussillon), a sign was posted on a shoemaker’s door explaining that the shuttered and dark shop was closed for the day.

The note further explained that it wasn’t family matters or an unfortunate death that was responsible for the temporary closure; it was, rather, “ferm√© pour cause de cassoulet.”

You can find a duck leg cassoulet at SV Uptown in Waterloo.


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