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cacasse à cul nul

potatoes in roux from the Ardennes

Typical plate in Ardennes country

Dishes come and go, but when they have a name like cacasse à cul nul (‘bare ass crap’) they are hard to forgot.

This is a classic plat du pauvre from the Ardennes, first mentioned in the 18th century. Originally the concasse was ‘bare-assed’ because it had no meat, although those who could afford would fry some bacon or lard or just rub it inside the iron pot to give the potatoes, onions, thyme and bay and the roux a bit more flavour.

Today most versions are culottée (‘with underwear’) by adding a big slice of bacon and smoked sausage per person.

In 2001, the Confrérie de la Cacasse was founded in Aiglemont, with much good humour, a big cast iron pot and a motto: ‘Tout passe, tout lasse, pas la cacasse’ (‘Everything passes, everything wearies, but not the crap’).

Grand Est

Soups, stews and casseroles

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Dip_44 from France