Castlenaudary is a market town and also the main port of the Canal du Midi.
The Grand Bassin in the town is the largest open area of water in the canal and owed a period of prosperity in the 17th century when agricultural and manufactured produce became easier to export. Today its a major pleasure port.
We had a lovely time walking the dogs along the canal and also having a wander around the town. The town isn’t the prettiest but it has everything you need.
Castlenaudary is also the World Capital of Cassoulet. This dish dates back to 1355 when it was first served to defenders of the town during a siege.
The cassoulet variant favoured here is based on the local haricot bean. It also includes goose or duck confit, pork and Toulouse sausage. This dish can take two days or more to prepare. It is cooked in a earthenware pot called a cassole for which the dish is named after.
We bought a 2 person cassoulet from the local charcuterie for 16 euro 50. Colin said it was one of the best meals he had ever eaten. So it was definitely worth the princely sum.
So if you want to try a traditional French Cassoulet then this is the place to go.