Above, traditional cassoulet at Le Pyreneen
Parts of numerous animals star in the most famous regional dish of Toulouse – cassoulet. A traditional cassoulet often includes pork loin, pork belly, sausage, neck and breast of lamb and duck confit. All are simmered with white beans for hours and finished off under a flame to give the top a tasty, caramelized char.
We decided if we were going to dive into the dish to do it somewhere well-established, an institution, and chose Le Pyreneen. The brasserie opened in 1925 but appears older and set-ready to serve in a period film with little tinkering. The Mister’s dish was indeed meaty, savory and destination-worthy, but I must confess I opted for seafood and was not disappointed. One thing I did learn on this trip was that I do like duck confit, which is cooked ahead of time and preserved in duck fat until ready to use. We encountered it in numerous dishes and always found it tender and juicy.
Continue reading “Postcard from Toulouse, France: Cheese, pastries and menus fluent in French flavor”
Above, “breakfast” platters of seafood at Chez Jean-Mi
Marche des Capucins is the city’s oldest public marketplace, meriting the moniker of the “Belly of Bordeaux.” The abundance and quality of its seafood, produce and cheese stalls inspired numerous chefs to open booths there in the past decade, but, while we were in Bordeaux, COVID and August vacations temporarily pared down their numbers.
Seafood remains prominent. The most renown platters are found at Chez Jean-Mi. One has to arrive early because it both gets crowded and closes before 2 p.m. most days. This forces many a foodie-pilgrim to venture forth for raw oysters for breakfast. As wonderful as a succulent raw oyster can be, I just couldn’t talk myself into eating it first thing, and there definitely was no room at the counter by lunch time.
Continue reading “Postcard from Bordeaux, France: In the city’s belly”
With food raised to the level of religion in Bologna, there is no shortage of markets to find it. Specialty stores are clustered on narrow pedestrian-only streets; there are numerous enclosed market houses; and parks often are filled with food festivals.
My favorites always are the cheese stalls….