Or maybe that would be a "tin" to you. Actually, we always called such containers "tin cans" where I come from, even though they are not made out of tin. Same with the "tin roof" — no tin. But never mind. With all the home-improvement work going on chez nous, life has been slightly disrupted, and we decided to open a can for lunch the other day.
It's cassoulet, which is white beans cooked with meats like duck, sausages, pork, and/or mutton. Cassoulet is a food from southwestern France, especially the area from Toulouse through Castelnaudary to Carcassonne. The beans are cooked slowly for a long time. The meats are very tender. This particular can of cassoulet comes from a company in the town of Castelnaudary (which means « château neuf du roi » in the local language). The town claims that it invented cassoulet centuries ago, and that its version is the absolute best.
The name cassoulet comes from the name of the dish that the beans are cooked in, la cassole — you might recognize the word "casserole" in that. This was a big can of cassoulet, advertised as serving three people and weighing more than 3 lbs. We both thought it was delicious. I took some collard greens out of the freezer to have with the beans and meats. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there are restaurants serving this brand of cassoulet to diners right out of the can, but without telling them.
The beans were creamy and mostly unbroken. The sauce was velvety. The duck (wings) were very good, and the sausages (saucisses de Toulouse) were not bad. Walt and I have good memories of going to a nice restaurant in Castelnaudary and eating a fine cassoulet there back in 1989, when we were on vacation and taking a road trip around southern France, so cassoulet has sentimental value for us.
Another treat we enjoyed this week was a bottle of Touraine Primeur wine from a producer up in Saint-Romain-sur-Cher, about 5 miles north of Saint-Aignan. We buy wine there all the time, and I've visited the winery that made the Primeur, which is like our local Beaujolais Nouveau. La Renne is a small river that runs through Saint-Romain, by the way.
This Primeur is made with 2016 grapes and is a Sauvignon Blanc, which is the most common Touraine white wine. It had some sweetness and softness. We tasted citrus notes. It made an especially good apéritif wine — that's the glass you drink before you sit down to eat lunch or dinner. It stimulates the appetite and puts you in the mood for good food. Elle n'est pas belle, la vie ?