Aude is a region famous for its gastronomy and rich local produce. Starting with the famous Castelnaudary cassoulet, but that's not all! Here is a quick tour of some of the typical dishes and culinary specialities you really mustn't miss during your stay in Aude.
Meat, charcuterie and cooked dishes
Celebrated alll over the world as a pinnacle of French cuisine, the Castelnaudary cassoulet is one of the great classics in Aude gastronomy. The recipe and the secret of its success : confit of duck, home-made sausage and haricot beans (preferably from Lauragais). When you're on holiday in Carcassonne, whatever you do, don't miss out on a terrine of duck foie gras, foies secs (a traditional pork liver recipe) and even Languedoc-style snails. Lovers of fine food will also be ordering Corbières wild boar stew and poultry or lamb from Cathar country during their stay in Aude. And make sure you don't miss the Fricassée de Limoux, a pork-based dish served with white haricot beans and rind, while not forgetting Lauraguais capon and chicken. When it's time for a pre-dinner drink, give into the temptation of Montagne Noire pork specialities, tapenades and olives from Alpilles, salt and pepper Pébradous de Limoux biscuits (a region also famous for its blanquette!), cargolades (a snail speciality from Corbières) and fougasse bread with fritons and green olives. Plenty to whet your appetite!
Fish and seafood
Aude gastronomy is also inspired by Mediterranean flavours. In Narbonne, you can enjoy grilled fish specialities, smoked or cooked on the griddle. To find ultra-fresh seafood, head for the Narbonne indoor market ! If you visit Gruissan and Leucate, you won't be able to resist composing your own shellfish and seafood platter. A dish of oysters, a tasty mussel brasucade, a Languedoc bouillabaisse... who knows? Unless you prefer to stock up on fresh fish at the little port of L'Ayrolle: sea bream, Atlantic wolffish, mullet, sole, brill and eels.
Desserts, pastries and other treats
If you have a sweet tooth, don't miss out on typical Aude pastries and treats such as cherry clafoutis from the Argent Double valley, gragnottes narbonnaises filled with a gianduja/hazelnut praline, the Petit Carcassonnais (a kind of madeleine or sponge cake), the Saint-Jean du Minervois flan, nougats, torrone and Taps de Limos, a chocolate shaped like a Champagne cork. And a holiday in Aude would not be complete without bringing home some delicious oreillettes de Lagrasse fritters or a Garriguet, a cake from Cathar country made from cereals, honey, almonds and raisins. Cheese or dessert? Treat yourself to a surprising écu and écusson, small, tasty, triangular goats cheeses, or a Corbières Pélardon. To be served with a nice glass of Pays d'Aude wine!
To round off our gourmet tour, let's not forget Aude wines, which are a perfect match for any great meal. For over 2,000 years, the vineyards have been an integral part of our landscape and culture. Today there are 8 Protected Designation of Origin wines (AOP in French): Fitou, Corbières, Limoux, Minervois, Cabardès, La Clape, Quatourze and Malepère. On the holiday roads, you'll come across plenty of wine cellars and cooperatives. Here you can meet our winemakers, taste and buy red, rosé, white and sparkling wines famous for their fruity and floral aroma.