The “Toque & sens” central kitchen, in collaboration with the City and Jean Brunelin, specialist in Sète cuisine, has prepared a typical Sète dish, without meat, for schools.
Since November 1, 2019, the City has been offering a weekly vegetarian menu in all Sète canteens. But it is a typically Sète recipe that was prepared on this Monday, January 13, in the premises of the central kitchen “Toque & sens”: the “pasta fasule”.
A dish of Neapolitan origin
Composed of pasta, dried beans and a well-spiced tomato sauce, this traditional dish was proposed by Jean Brunelin, a specialist in Sète cuisine. “When they had the very good idea of making a traditional Sète meatless dish, they called me, and I found quite a few of them, he explains. As I am retired, if I can manage to bring Sète cuisine to life for a little longer, I’m going to do it”.
The dish has its origins in Italian immigration to Sète, in the second half of the 19th century, from Gaète and Cétare. “Pasta fasule” is one of the dishes considered “dishes for the poor”, whose recipe was brought by Italians fleeing poverty, in the same way as “pasta ceci”, with chickpeas, and “pasta padane”. , with potatoes. “A dish like this, a restaurant will not make it for you, adds Jean Brunelin. It is made throughout Italy, and is still eaten in families in the upper district”.
“Toque & sens”, a modern and equipped central kitchen
Inaugurated last Thursday, May 23, the central kitchen of the Sodexo group is equipped with the latest generation equipment, respectful of the environment, in order to deliver no less than 2,800 meals to schools and senior homes in Sète, Boisseron and Balaruc. This new structure was created thanks to a solid partnership between local players, starting with the City, Sète agglopôle Méditerranée and the local public company of the Thau basin.
The former chef sees it as an opportunity to perpetuate Sète traditions. “I have always been interested in the history of Sète cuisine, in order to perpetuate it. This allows people to be shown the cuisine that is no longer made”.
“Introduce students to traditions”
“As part of the day of vegetarian meals, we can benefit from the wealth of Sète recipes, which come from all around the Mediterranean, to introduce the traditions to the students, adds François Commeinhes, mayor of Sète, present for the occasion. It is important to allow them to find the roots of their elders”.
The “pasta fasule” is the first Sète vegetarian dish that children will have the opportunity to taste, from this Tuesday, January 14, in their canteens. Other recipes declined will follow, within the framework of the heritage of Sète’s culinary richness, always under the wise advice of Jean Brunelin.
With this weekly vegetarian menu, the City is part of the national food program, continuing its efforts for healthy and local dishes, with 20% organic products, 40% local products.
A law tested for two years
In accordance with the EGalim law, all school catering, from kindergarten to high school, must offer at least one vegetarian menu per week since November 1, 2019. A unique menu, based on vegetable proteins, which can also be composed of eggs or of dairy products.
This measure, first carried out on an experimental basis for two years, is one of the 5 major provisions of the EGalim law in the field of collective catering. A sector which, with 3.5 billion meals per year, represents a major lever for changing dietary practices.