Full of beans, France’s cassoulet spreads its wings

Cassoulet, the stick-to-your-ribs staple of French cooking combining beans and duck — at least in the original recipe — is spreading its wings as makers in southwestern France look to conquer the world palate.

The drive to promote the dish rooted in the Hundred Years War is ambitious, according to Jean-Louis Male, the “grand master” of the guild based in the cassoulet capital, Castelnaudary.

or one thing, “every country already has a dish based on beans,” he said.

For another, cassoulet has a bit of an identity problem.

“There are as many recipes as there are cooks,” Male said.

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