Stews of all kinds are popular in Aude. Cassoulet, a slow cooked casserole of white haricot beans, goose, duck and sausages and named after the deep earthenware pot in which it was cooked, is said to have been ‘invented’ in Castelnaudary.
Although originally a peasant dish, gourmet recipes can have over 25 ingredients or you can buy it in tins in supermarkets throughout France.
Eel bourride (stew) and ‘Cathar Country’ lamb or wild boar stew are also popular.
Enjoy Montagne Noire ham dried in the clean mountain air as a delicious starter, and candied fruits and iced chestnuts - 2 other specialities from Castelnaudary.
High prices were paid for the quality scents and flavours of Narbonne honey produced from moorland flowers of the Corbiere and La Clape Hills by the ancient peoples of Cyprus and Egypt. Try it in cakes, sweets and biscuits - like bouchons du Languedoc mixed with almonds - or just smoothed on toast.
Wine lovers can enjoy tours and tasting at chateaux and domaines, with wines ranging from the soft Fitou of the coast to sparkling Blanquette de Limoux and the fuller bodied mountain wines such as Corbieres and Cabardes. Take a glass with some gold medal winning Lucques table olives.