Castelnaudary has so many restaurants offering the savoury dish of cassoulet that you could be forgiven for thinking that it was invented in this town! Well, the Chauriens (the inhabitants of Castelnaudary) would have you believe it even though the folk of Carcassonne and Toulouse dispute the claim. Who actually invented this delightful meal of duck, sausage and beans will remain an enigma but the fact remains that cassoulet is delicious and best enjoyed surrounded by friends and family with a hearty glass of red by your side.
The town, along with many others in this area, owes its prosperity to the Canal du Midi. It was decided, at the townspeople’s behest, to construct a huge dock for the loading and offloading of grain and wine. Castelnaudary is the biggest port between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and today, even though the haulage barges can no longer be seen, it buzzes with pleasure craft sailing along the Canal.