Cassoulet, olive oil, wine... 3 culinary specialities from the Aude to try

Aude is a tourist destination renowned for its gastronomy and vineyards, and is full of delicious culinary specialities. Here are three of them, to taste on the spot, or to take home.

Where to eat a good cassoulet, Carcassonne or Castelnaudary?

Cassoulet is one of the specialities of the Aude. Its reputation has spread far beyond the borders of the Languedoc region, and cassoulet is now one of the top 10 favourite dishes of the French.

Its history dates back to the Middle Ages, when the inhabitants of the region began to cultivate white beans as a staple food. The peasants of the time added the leftover meat available in the larder, usually pork, goose or duck, which was left to simmer for a long time in the fireplace.

The cassoulet of Carcassonne and that of Castelnaudary are two variations of this emblematic dish. The main difference lies in the ingredients used. The Castelnaudary cassoulet traditionally uses pork and poultry (confit, loin, belly, rind, ham hocks), while the Carcassonne cassoulet is made with lamb, red partridge, and sometimes mutton. Each town claims the authenticity of its recipe, and the debate on the best cassoulet is still open. One thing is certain, both cassoulets are delicious!

DID YOU KNOW? The origin of the word "cassoulet" dates back to the 14th century and comes from the Occitan term "caçolet", which refers to the earthenware dish (called a "cassole") in which cassoulet is traditionally prepared and cooked.

The olive, the green diamond of Aude

The other culinary treasure of the Aude is the olive! The department is proud to produce delicious table olives such as the Lucques variety, a pearl of the Languedoc region with an AOP. To discover the secrets of the olive, it is possible to visit the oil mills, where the olives are crushed. The miller extracts the oil from the olives using traditional methods to preserve the quality and flavour of the fruit.

In terms of eating, table olives are often eaten plain, marinated or stuffed with herbs and spices. Olive oil is used in many local recipes, meat, fish and grilled vegetable dishes.

DID YOU KNOW? Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (good fats), which help reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is rightly considered one of the "healthiest" oils.

Road-trip on the Minervois wine route

What would gastronomy be without a good wine to accompany it? The Minervois vineyard, which is located on the Black Mountain, straddling the Aude and Hérault departments, is one of the largest in the Languedoc AOC. Its production area extends for about 60 km from Carcassonne in the west to Narbonne in the east, bounded by the Canal du Midi in the south.

Classified in 1985, the Minervois AOC produces mainly red wines, but also supple and fruity whites and rosés. Three appellations are now recognised: AOC Minervois, La Livinière and Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois, one of the oldest in Languedoc. Minervois wines are distinguished by their richness in tannins and aromas, with notes of red fruit and spices.

Between Carcassonne and Narbonne, the Minervois Wine Route plunges you into the heart of the vineyard, to meet passionate winegrowers, terroirs and traditions. Modern winemaking techniques, sustainable viticulture methods and meticulous work in the vineyard result in very rich, typical and varied wines.

DID YOU KNOW? The "Tastes en Minervois" Festival, created in 2015 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Minervois PDO, has become THE annual meeting place for epicureans around food and wine. See you in Villegly (near Carcassonne), the first weekend of September, just in time for the start of the harvest!

Photo credit : ignis, cc-by-sa-2.5, 2.0,1.0, wikimedia

Cassoulet, olive oil, wine... 3 culinary specialities from the Aude to try
Gastronomie audoise plat de cassoulet

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Olydea - Hameau de JouarresHameau de Jouarres
11700 Azille
Holiday resort : 04 68 40 45 00Central booking office : +33(0)4 48 20 03 19GPS : Latitude 43.263409 Longitude 2.698683

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Ouvert du 18 Mars au 4 Novembre 2023De 9h à 12h et de 16h à 19h (fermeture à 20h en Juillet-Août)

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