The Catalan influence can be found in the regional dishes of Languedoc-Roussillon, with food such as brandade which is made from a purée of dried cod wrapped in beet leaves, crème Catalane – (cream with lemon, vanilla and fennel seed, like a crème brulée but more delicate. And morue à la Catalane – a cod dished served with tomatoes and pepper and anchoïade – anchovies with garlic and olive oil.
Snails are plentiful and are prepared in a specific Catalan style known as a cargolade – grilled in their shells with salt, pepper, and herbs or lard.
Seafood forms an important part of the local diet, especially sea bream, mussels, red mullet and squid and dishes come flavoured with locally produced olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, onions and aromatic herbs. Regional delicacies from Languedoc-Roussillon include oysters from Etang de Thau, which you’ll find served in restaurants in Bouzigues, Meze and Sète and bourride – a spicy fish with aioli.
Gardiane is popular – a beef stew with red wine and served with rice. You can get high quality Roquefort which comes from the brebis (sheep) on the Larzac plateau. The area around Cévennes area offers mushrooms, chestnuts, berries, honey, lamb, game, sausages, pâtés and goat cheeses.
The region is famed for its wine production, it is the second largest AOC wine producer in France but much less well-known than some other regions. There are wine museums in Montpellier, Béziers and Corbières and wine trails you can take. The region also has a number of festivals and events which reflect their pride in their wine -there’s a list of events below:
Grape Harvest Festival, Gruissan – October
Old Time Grape Harvest Festival, Cessenon-sur-Orb – October
Wine and the Land (truffle and wine tasting), Moussoulens – January
Spring Wine and Wine Festival, Herault – May
Open House Wine Cellar, Montpeyroux – June