Capital of the Occitan region, Toulouse is a showcase for regional produce from the southwest.
Nicknamed ‘La Ville Rose’ for its signature pink bricks, this enchanting city offers magnificent buildings and a buzzing outdoor lifestyle, thanks to the warm climate and the city’s twin waterways, the mighty Garonne river and the UNESCO-listed Canal du Midi.
Vegetarians will want to avoid the city’s signature dish, cassoulet, a hearty slow-cooked meat stew that has been a staple here for centuries, but there are plenty of meat-free options to enjoy too thanks to the abundance of fresh local produce.
Unmissable local dishes and produce in Toulouse
- Toulouse cassoulet: recipes vary from chef to chef, but staple
- ingredients are white beans, duck confit and Toulouse sausage.
- Fénétra: a sweet pastry tart filled with apricot jam and confit
- lemon pieces, topped with almond meringue.
- Briques du Capitole: crunchy praline bonbons sold in boxes
- shaped like the pink bricks of the ‘Ville Rose’.
- Cachou Lajaunie: Small black sweets flavoured with liquorice and the plant extract catechu. Created in 1880 by Lajaunie pharmacy.
- Toulouse violet: a subtle flavour used in everything from boiled sweets to mustard, chocolate to tea.
Must do foodie experiences in Toulouse
- Sit down to a steaming dish of traditional cassoulet at Restaurant Emile on Place Saint-Georges. Visit website here.
- Indulge in a genuine fénétra from Pâtisserie Conté. Visit website here.
- Combine retail therapy and food with a view at Galeries Lafayette with its rooftop brasserie, Ma Biche sur le Toit. Visit website here.
- Drop into a riverside guingette, a traditional restaurant/bar, such as Guinguette de Chouchou on the Quai de Tounis.
- Can’t resist a market? Four covered markets and one indoor market are open daily except Monday. Visit website here.
- Enjoy two-star Michelin food by TV chef Michel Sarran, in the intimate surroundings of Restaurant Michel Sarran. Visit website here.
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Article from Taste of France Issue Four.
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