fostering cultural, intellectual, artistic and friendly exchanges between the French-speaking world and our local and regional communities.

A little feed-back on the Cassoulet Dinner

At Giorgio’s on December 2, 2016

The Alliance Française de Toledo hosted the annual Cassoulet dinner at Giorgio’s .

We take this opportunity to thank all members as well as their friends who came and shared this unique experience.

Attendance was great (57 people signed up) and we were treated to an excellent Cassoulet (being the first one for Chef George.) served with confit de canard, short ribs and sausage.

Brigitte raised money for the Scholarship. By selling raffle tickets. We had a lucky person win the beautiful basket donated by the Hoffman Family. Thank you for your generous contribution.

Before dessert was served, Alexis Czajka – last year recipient of the scholarship – made a fantastic presentation on her experience and travels through France and Switzerland. For many in attendance, it was a unique opportunity to travel to places not so well know. Great job Alexis!

This has been a very nice evening and we are looking forward to next year’s Cassoulet.

You will find below a little history of Cassoulet provided by Mr. & Mrs. Soubeyrand and a few pictures of the evening.


<< All album photos 4/8 photos


La Grande Confrérie du Cassoulet de Castelnaudary

Julia Child l’a dit ainsi « Cassoulet, ce supérieur festin d’haricots, est un plat quotidien pour le paysan, mais un régal pour un gastronome, bien que le consommateur idéal soit un joueur de rugby pesant 150 kilos qui a passé les dernières douze heures à couper sans arrêt du bois de chauffe dans le Manitoba par des températures frigides ».

Le cassoulet prend ses origines au Moyen Age. Il est né à Castelnaudary, une ville d’environ 11,000 habitants aujourd’hui et située dans le sud-ouest de la France entre Toulouse et Carcassonne. Durant la Guerre de Cents Ans en 1335, Castelnaudary était assiégé par le Prince Noir, Edward the Prince of Wales. D’après la légende, les habitants, au bord de la famine, auraient mis en commun tout ce qu’il leur restait de nourriture à mijoter dans une grande marmite: lard, poulet, viandes et haricots secs. Le plat remonta le moral et l’énergie des troupes et les Anglais furent battus. Une belle histoire mais, malheureusement, aucun témoignage historique ne permet de la valider

Plusieurs villes de la région se disputent le titre du vrai cassoulet, et les recettes varient, mais certains ingrédients sont indispensables: haricots secs lingots, saucisses locales et confit de canard ou d’oie. Le nom du plat vient du plat de cuisson traditionnel qui est un pot en terre cuite, rond et profond avec des bords en pente, la cassole.

Pour bien comprendre l’importance du cassoulet à la cuisine locale, il faut rappeler un dicton célèbre : « Le Cassoulet est le dieu de la cuisine occitane. Un Dieu en trois personnes : Dieu le père est celui de Castelnaudary, Dieu le fils est celui de Carcassonne et le Saint Esprit qui est celui de Toulouse. »

Le 9 Janvier est National Cassoulet Day in the USA, mais La Grande Confrérie du Cassoulet de Castelnaudary qui légifère tout ce qui concerne le cassoulet ne n’y a pas encore donné sa bénédiction !



Julia Child put it this way « Cassoulet, that best of bean feasts, is everyday fare for a peasant but ambrosia for a gastronome, though its ideal consumer is a 300-pound blocking back who has been splitting firewood nonstop for the last twelve hours on a subzero day in Manitoba”

Cassoulet originates from the Middle Ages. It was born in Castelnaudary which is a city of about 11,000 located in the south west region of France between Toulouse and Carcassonne. During the Hundred Years War in 1335, Castelnaudary was besieged by the Black Prince, Edward the Prince of Wales. According to the legend, the inhabitants, threatened by famine, gathered their remaining food and simmered it in a large cauldron: lard, chicken, meat and dried beans. The dish lifted the morale and the energy of the troops and the English were chased away. A nice story, but, unfortunately, there is no historical testimony to validate it.

Several cities claim to make the real cassoulet, and the recipes vary, but some ingredients are indispensable: local dried beans (similar to Great Northern), local sausages and duck or goose confit. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, a deep, round earthenware pot with slanted sides, the “cassole”.

To understand the importance of cassoulet to the local cuisine, one must remember the famous saying “Cassoulet is the God of Occitan cuisine. A God in three persons: God, the father, is that of Castelnaudary, God, the son, is that of Carcassonne and the Holy Spirit is that of Toulouse”.

January 9th is National Cassoulet Day in the USA, but La Grande Confrérie du Cassoulet de Castelnaudary which legislates all matters related to cassoulet has yet to give it its blessing!



©Alliance Française de Toledo,The Common Space Center for Creativity, Suite 102, 1700 N. Reynolds Road, Toledo, OH 43615
419-537-9024
The mission of the Alliance Française de Toledo is to foster cultural, intellectual, artistic and friendly exchanges between the French-speaking world and our local and regional communities.

We accomplish our mission by providing a center with classes and resources for the study of French language and culture and by organizing, promoting, and enjoying cultural, intellectual, and artistic celebrations and social events.
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