National Cassoulet Day Date in the current year: January 9, 2022

National Cassoulet Day In the United States, there are informal food days celebrating all kinds of popular dishes, not necessarily from American cuisine. For example, National Cassoulet Day is dedicated to a hearty dish that originated in southern France. It is celebrated annually on January 9.

Cassoulet is a rich dish made of white beans, meat, and pork skin. It is something between a stew and a casserole. The name of the dish derives from the French word cassole (or Occitan cassolo), which denotes a conical earthenware pot used to cook the dish.

Cassoulet originated in the French region of Occitanie; to be more precise, in the historical region and former province of Languedoc, the territory of which is now contained in Occitanie. The birthplace and “world capital” of cassoulet is the commune of Castelnaudary. The dish is also popular in the neighboring cities of Carcassonne and Toulouse.

As we’ve already mentioned above, cassoulet consists of white beans, meat, and pork skin. The most common meats used to make cassoulet are duck or goose confit (in French cuisine, confit is any type of food cooked slowly at a low temperature; meats are usually cooked in their own rendered fat), pork sausages, or mutton.

The traditional cassoulet of Castelnaudary is made with duck confit. In Toulouse, it is customary to cook cassoulet with pork and cold roast mutton. The Carcassonne version of the dish is similar but it contains twice as much mutton, and the duck is sometimes replaced with partridge.

In France, canned cassoulets are sold in grocery stores, supermarkets, and delicatessens. Cheaper ones are usually made with beans, sausages, bacon, and tomato sauce. More expensive ones may include duck confit, goose, lamb, or saucisse de Toulouse (Toulouse sausage).

There are rich bean stews similar to cassoulet in many national cuisines. For example, feijoada is a bean stew with beef and pork popular in Portuguese-speaking countries. One of the heartiest dishes of Asturian cuisine is fabada asturiana, made with white beans and various meats (dried ham, pancetta, bacon, blood sausage, chorizo). A similar stew, olla podrida (“rotten pot”), is popular throughout Spain. In addition to beans or chickpeas and assorted meats, it includes various vegetables (carrots, onions, leeks, potatoes, cabbage).

Pasulj, known as Serbian bean soup in English, is a bean stew popular in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia. A version of the dish made with baked beans is known as prebranac. Cholent is a traditional Jewish bean stew cooked overnight so that it is ready for lunchtime on Shabbat. Of course, it is never made with pork; the traditional meat is beef, but there are cholent recipes with chicken, turkey, and veal.

Like most other European dishes, cassoulet was brought to North America by immigrants. In U. S. restaurants, any hearty bean stew or casserole can be referred to as cassoulet, even if it is made with, for example, salmon instead of meat. Since this rich, hearty dish is perfect for the cold winter months, National Cassoulet Day in the United States is celebrated on January 9.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays

Country

USA

Tags

National Cassoulet Day, food days, unofficial holidays, holidays in the United States, French cuisine, French bean stew