In April I am travelling to Carcassone in Languedoc.
As a Brit, I am keen to eat some authentic cuisine. What are the traditional dishes/diet of the region?
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The official website of tourism in France on Cuisine of Languedoc-Roussillon:
Reputed for its regional products, Languedoc-Roussillon offers authentic and delicious cuisine. Based upon olive oil, garlic, basil, this cuisine is usually embellished with scrubland herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and savory.
Cheeses, wines, honeys, and fruits arrive to complete the specialties of the highlands of the interior and along the sea. Tasting the food of Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the shortest paths to truly discovering this region.
The winemaking industry in Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the oldest and largest of the world. It stretches from the eastern bank of the Rhône to the foothills of the Pyrenees, on the plain, at sea-level, or in Piedmont in the scrubland or on the hillsides.
Today produced by passionate winemakers, the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon separate into a very rich palate. They join the essential elements of the Mediterranean diet, in which olive oil, vegetables, fish, cheeses, and bread come together to offer a wholesome, authentic, and delicious cuisine.
The best-known specialties here are Thau Basin oysters, the small pâtés of Pézenas, codfish brandade, anchovies gratinés with herbs, and tuna à la catalane. The most flavorful desserts are apricot tarts, Limoux king cake, the croustade languedocienne, crème catalane, les grisettes de Montpellier (honey and licorice candy), and rousquilles.
Cheeses to enjoy here are tomme des Pyrénées and Pélardon.
Wines and Spirits
Many wineries make their home here:
- In Languedoc, Cabardès, Clairette-de-Bellegarde, Clairette-du-Languedoc, Corbières, Coteaux-du-Languedoc, Coteaux-de-la-Méjanelle, Côtes de la Malepère, Faugères, Fitou, Limoux, Minervois, Muscat-de-Frontignan, Muscat-de-Lunel, Muscat-de-Mireval, Muscat-de-Saint-Jean-de-Minervois, Pic-Saint-Loup, Saint-Chinian.
- In Roussillon, Banyuls, Collioure, Força Real, Côtes-du-Roussillon and Côtes-du-Roussillon-Villages, Maury, and Rivesaltes.
Of course you must have cassoulet if you're going to Carcassone! This is by far the most traditional regional dish, and delicious. It should also be still suitable in April, as it's rather heavy (beans and meats..).
But all things duck would also do, so if you're there in the thick of summer heat you could consider substituting grilled magret de canard, one of the many salads with magret, or just nice foie gras on toast. Lucky you..
This link shows you some of the regional dishes. In French but at least it will give you the proper name of the dishes. I hope it helps: