National Cassoulet Day is celebrated on January 9 every year in the United States. Cassoulet is a French casserole made with white beans that comes in a range of flavors. If you’ve never had cassoulet before, today is the day! This could be a great task for you if you enjoy cooking. The traditional dish is not straightforward to prepare and can take some time, but if you want to keep it simple, there are lots of simplified recipes online.
History of National Cassoulet Day
Since the temperatures have dropped to seasonal levels, and we’re back to whipping winds and days with far less sunshine than we’d prefer, it’s time to savor the guilty pleasure that comes with the winter months — comfort food.
Cassoulet is a hearty casserole that originates in the French area of Languedoc. Although there are variations, white beans, sausages, and duck or goose confit are mainstays in many recipes.
Following Columbus’ voyage to the New World, white beans were introduced to France. The queen of France, Catherine de Medici, began importing white beans, which led to widespread cultivation in Southwest France. Cassoulet is influenced by the Americas, Spain, and the Middle East.
The city of Castelnaudary, which was besieged by the British in the Hundred Years War, claims to have created the first cassoulet. To feed and bolster their defenders, the besieged townspeople gathered whatever ingredients they could find and prepared a large amount of stew. Cassoulet cooking contests are held in France, and also in the United States, similar to Texas’ chili cook-offs.
Cassoulet was first made with the residual heat in a hearth or even a bread baker’s oven. Low heat helped the beans to soften up and absorb most of the flavor and fat from the meat. National Cassoulet Day celebrates the history of this delicious casserole and how it has warmed our hearts for centuries. Whether it’s making one by yourself or visiting your favorite restaurant, you can be a part of the celebration today.
National Cassoulet Day timeline
Casserole recipes make their first appearance in cookbooks in the U.S.
In Berlin, New Hampshire, a French Canadian immigrant, Elmire Jolicoeur, creates the predecessor of modern-day casseroles.
Casserole recipes during this period include rice pounded and spiced with a mixture of meats like chicken and even sweetbread.
The concept of preparing casseroles as a one-dish meal becomes widespread in the U.S. as new types of cookware made from glass and lightweight metal become available.
National Cassoulet Day FAQs
What should you pair with cassoulets?
You can add virtually any special ingredient to your cassoulet seeing as it’s a flexible dish. Special considerations, however, can be made for vegetable salad and fruity dessert afterward to help massage your taste buds even further into ecstasy. A good bottle of wine also never did anybody any harm.
How does cassoulet taste?
White beans are the major ingredient, but it’s amazing how the French can fill beans with so much taste and richness. Sausage, duck fat, pork, onion, duck confit, and garlic are all used in a perfect cassoulet.
Which wine is best with cassoulet?
Cassoulet is best with medium-bodied reds with crisp acidity and sufficient tannin. Good examples are Corbières and Côte-Rôtie, Irouléguy, Syrah, Cahors, and Bandol.
National Cassoulet Day Activities
If you’ve never had a cassoulet, this day is the best opportunity to try one. One try could be all you need to add this yummy casserole to your meal plan for life.
Try different recipes
Perhaps one of the most amazing benefits of casseroles is their flexibility when it comes to ingredients. Although there are basic ingredients such as white beans and sausages, the options for cooking a cassoulet are virtually limitless.
Take a class or teach one
Don’t know how to make a casserole? Why not take a cooking class, crack open a cookbook, or watch a how-to tutorial on YouTube. National Cassoulet Day is an excellent chance to learn the basics of making a casserole or perhaps teach someone who wants to learn.
5 Facts About France That Will Blow Your Mind
Lost in translation
French fries were not invented in France, but rather in Belgium.
I can’t believe there's no butter
French people do not like to use butter on bread.
France boasts over 1,500 types of cheese.
Eating begins with the eyes
French people believe that plating is equally important as taste.
French people name their food after its region or city of origin.
Why We Love National Cassoulet Day
Casseroles remain the king of one-dish dishes. These meals pack a taste punch sans a sink full of dirty dishes to clean up.
The perfect comfort food
Perhaps it’s the memories the aromas provoke, or the variety when it comes to ingredients, but few comfort meals measure up to a casserole. If you’re looking for culinary solace, look no further.
It’s a customizable dish
Arguably the best part about cassoulets is that they are customizable. You can add special ingredients of your own and get creative for amazing results.
National Cassoulet Day dates