Academie Universelle du Cassoulet
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In order to understand better the roots of the founders of the Universal Academy of the Cassoulet, let's have a look back in the past and discover the history of the cassoulet with the help of the "Ode of the Cassoulet", publication of 1998 and by referring to the Prosper Montagné's "Festin Occitan" (1929).



"FLAVORS" FROM OCCITAN - THE CASSOULET

The cassoulet is definitely the God of the occitan cuisine, a God made of 3 entities: the Father or the cassoulet of Castelnaudary, the Son, or the cassoulet of Carcassonne and the Holy Spirit, the cassoulet of Toulouse.

The origin of this traditional dish of Languedoc can be dated back far in the history of greediness. Nevertheless, some historians specialized in gastronomy assert that, as beans have been introduced only after the discovery of the New World, the history of the cassoulet is not older than 500 years.

Some others, those who prefer legends to history, assert that Christopher Columbus, especially in the southwest part of the country, has introduced beans in France a long time before the discovery of the Americas.

Referring to the legends of Castelnaudary, those historians might have say the truth. Indeed, according to it, the first bean based dished was born during the 100 years war, from 1337 to 1453, obviously far before 1492, by the time the British Army was surrounding Castelnaudary. This dish then has been through many changes and became the famous so-called "Casolet", glory of the Languedoc gastronomy. The legends also explains in details the way this wonderful dish came to the world:

Before going over the offensive against the enemy, and in order to give to the besieged some "courage", the provost marshal had the idea to gather in one only dish all the victuals people could have brought.

There were lots of beans left in the shops of the besieged town, let's remind once more that was a long time before the discovery of the Americas, which enabled the garrison's cooks to create a huge dish made if various meat juice such as fresh and salted pork, sheep, gooses and sausages.

Filled with this copious banquet they obviously served with all the wines of the region, people of Castelnaudary cleared the table in a huge noise and rushed straight into the British army.

It was such a raving rush and the sound of the explosion was so strong that the besieging, thinking at that moment that the besieged town was holding a big artillery, fled in panic and never stop running until they reached the shore of the English Channel, as the legends says…

For some other historians, the origin of the cassoulet is even older. They pretend that the Arabs introduced in the 7th century in Carcassès the culture of beans called at that time "white beans", teaching local people how to arrange this leguminous plant in a sheep meat based stew which seems to be the real ancestor of the current cassoulet.

Whatever it started in the 7th or 15th century, the cassoulet is still the most typical dish of the Occitan cuisine and appear is many works of famous southern poets. Here is an occitan poem dedicated to the glory of the cassoulet, written in the middle the last century by some unknown author.