Languedoc-Roussillon used to have a rather unfair
reputation for being a culinary desert. And to be honest, the only
dish that most people could probably name would be the king of
the Catalan table: cassoulet.
However, there are many great Catalan
dishes which benefit from the wonderful and locally abundant fruit,
fish and meat.
Look out for the increasing numbers of hotel-
restaurants with young and vibrant owners. Also keep an eye out
in the villages for the fermes-auberges,
where you are likely to eat honest earthy cuisine based entirely
ingredients such as game, wild boar, rabbit,
pigeon, foie gras, morels, truffles
the coast you'll find dishes like fricasées, cassoulet (bean
and sausage stew), brandade
de morue (salt cod puree), and wonderful fresh sea food:
mussels and oysters raised in the etangs (lagoons)
of the Côte
You'll also encounter other Languedocien steadfasts
aïoli (a delicious garlic
mayonnaise), bouillabaisse (famous
fish soup from Marseille), as well as another fish soup
which the port of Sète
is famous for: bourride (like
a fish chowder).
In the villages of the Vallespir you'll
find escargot á la
catalan (grilled snails with aïoli sauce),
mouratayrol (delicious chicken pot-au-feu), rouzoles (crêpes
filled with ham and bacon), pelardons (a
dish with goat's cheese), roussillonnade (bolet
mushrooms and sausages grilled over a fire), as well as boles
de picolat (catalan meatballs with mushrooms).
Just over the border into Spain,
you'll find it difficult to avoid the bountiful delicatessens
filled with a myriad different types of that other local speciality: sauccisson (air-cured
And to finish it all off - the famous dessert, crème
catalane (caramel encrusted cream, baked and flavoured
with anise and cinnamon).
We've compiled a list of good restaurants
that are within
easy driving distance of the house.
Can Mach (35
Tapis Cuisine: à la carte
34 (0)9 72 54 33 11 www.canmach.com