Note the crust! It isn’t bread crumbs.

Our village had its annual fête recently. We didn’t participate much–karaoke night and disco night aren’t our thing. But we were drawn to the cassoulet dinner.

Tables and chairs for 200-ish were set up in the shade of ancient platane trees next to the river. It was a scorching day, but between the shade and the breeze, we were comfortable. It was a bring-your-own-dishes affair, as usual. Open to anybody who bought tickets in advance, €18 per person, less for kids.

setting upThe aperitif took place as usual, same place, same routine as the earlier post. The starter was a green salad topped with duck gizzards.

Then came the cassoulet, brought in from a local caterer. One bowl served three people: a big piece of duck, two pieces of sausage and lots of couenne, or pork rind. Nobody went hungry.

One woman preferred drinking to eating, guzzling rosé straight from the pitcher. She danced on the tables, but eventually fell and was hauled home. There’s one in every crowd.

cassoulet bowl
The ducks on the bowl made me laugh.

It was followed by cheese, as if that could ever be in question. Then ice cream from La Belle Aude, which is made in Carcassonne. The factory used to make milk, ice cream, yogurt and other products for name brands. But then it was bought out by a big British-German company, which closed the factory, with the loss of 123 jobs.

glaceThe workers were upset, because the new company had promised to upgrade the factory, then decided not to. The workers, with local government support, bought the factory and started turning out La Belle Aude (Beautiful Aude–Aude is the name of the department of which Carcassonne is the equivalent of county seat).

Somebody arrived in a beautifully restored Citroën 2CV.


21 thoughts on “Communal Cassoulet

  1. Cassoulet…one of two reasons for returning to your area….maybe three reasons. I want one of the cassoulet bowls… the ones they use in the restaurants. My husband is so envious of your dinner. It was one of his favourite meals last year.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. As if I weren’t already swooning over the idea of dinner under the shady trees, the food, the local ice cream, and then you included that 2CV. Be still, my heart!!
    I first saw those years ago in Mallorca, when they were still plentiful and casually used, and I so wanted one. Still do.


  3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone just drink at one of these fetes, not to mention dancing on the table. I love cassoulet but usually only eat it in winter as it is so filling. I’ve never made any though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The cassoulet looks excellent, duck gizzards is definitely something to try. I’m so glad the ice cream factory in Aude is up and running again after us Brits let you down. Am so nostalgic over the 2CV…I owned two of them in the 80’s/90’s. Your husband is right, they are so basic they are easy to maintain… except if you need a new clutch, then as I recall, the engine has to come out.

    Liked by 1 person

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