You can see Chef Sarran on TV every wednesday, but the question is, what can you eat or drink in his beloved country, Occitanie? Here’s a little list of local specialties to die for:
> No one is fooled, we were bound to talk about it. You were all waiting for it, the first course is … bingo, “cassoulet”! Legend has it that during the Hundred Years’ War, on the eve of a great battle, the locals decided to eat all the provisions to give themselves strength. The next day the battle was won! Thus the cassoulet was born! Otherwise there are 3 kinds of cassoulet, that of Toulouse, that of Castelnaudary and that of Carcassonne, the difference being mainly the choice of the meats used.
> “La Violette”, then you’ll tell me, that’s a surprising choice, you, heathens who are not from around here! But know that the violet is to Toulouse what the Cannelé one is to Bordeaux, even more because the violet is the emblem of the city of Toulouse! You can taste it in the form of crystallized violets, with its light aroma, it is one of the must-tries when you visit the pink city.
> “La saucisse de Toulouse”. Our flagship delicatessen sends the chipolatas straight to the mat! Well cooked with mashed potatoes, it is THE local dish par excellence. (Note to readers, the author is totally biased on this subject, chipolatas are not so bad)
> “Le pavé du Capitole”. This is a small cube of chocolate coated with hazelnuts and pieces of orange (there is a variation with raspberries). It can only be good with chocolate and hazelnuts, so this delicacy has its place in this Top 10. It’s recommended to eat the pavés from the Pillon chocolate factory (lien), creator of this sweet (you have to give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s).
> “La croustade aux pommes”. This is a cake made with a layer of apples, then topped with puff pastry that is stretched out in a thin layer before brushing it with melted butter (very light). Baked in the oven, it is then customary to brush it with Armagnac or Cognac. A delight!
> “La Fenetra”, this cake made with candied lemon, almond and apricot, is a typical pastry of Occitan food. Nevertheless, it’s more known by tourists than locals, which is a pity. Today, few pastry chefs in Toulouse make this cake, it’s rather a family recipe, you can nevertheless by looking for, find one of these small sweet wonders.
> “Poulet à la toulousaine”, or the art of cooking white meat and make it fatter than a lump of butter. We’re joking…almost. It’s a chicken, whose giblets have been preserved, stuffed with sausage meat (what were you told), garlic, herbs and olives, accompanied by white beans. Let’s skip the caloric bomb part, and just remember that we only have one life and that it’s also a taste bomb!
> The “Millas”. This is THE traditional recipe of the region. This cake has been eaten since the Gauls! It’s composed of 3 layers: one like a clafoutis, the other like a flan (yes there is a nuance) and the bottom layer is a biscuit cuiller. You can find plain or flavoured with orange blossom, lemon, Armagnac (only for the over 18s… joking again) or almond liqueur!
> “The Blanquette de Limoux”. The star of spirits comes from Limoux (11) not far from Castelnaudary. It is a crémant, a sparkling wine. This sparkling aperitif is nevertheless the oldest sparkling wine in the world and has been labelled AOC since 1938.
> Hated by some, adulated by others, this candy is the subject of debate, it’s the “Cachou Lajaunie”! Invented in the 19th century by the pharmacist Léon Lajaunie, it is a clever blend of liquorice, cashew powder, and of course mystery ingredients! Immondice or 8th wonder of the world, we leave you the choice, but first you have to taste it!
Our little tour of specialties to eat is coming to an end, take advantage of our discovery days to have the opportunity to taste them, while discovering Occitania! In any case, one thing is sure after eating all this, we recommend a good salad followed by a good walk!
If you wish to taste them, you can travel in Toulouse and its surroundings, thanks to our partners Toulouse Welcome and Les Voyages Duclos, who will be pleased to participate in your discovery of these products!
See you soon!