Part of the fun of going to a new restaurant, especially if it’s a cuisine you’re unfamiliar with, is not knowing exactly what’s going to be brought to the table, nor how it’s going to be served.

But if you want to do away with some of the mystery, here’s a tip for French food: When “cassoulet” is on the menu, it means a bean stew.

The dish originates from the Languedoc region in southern France.

“It has a very intense flavour and is a heavy, hearty dish,” says Steve Karlsch, culinary director at the Colette Tim Raue brasserie in Berlin. Ingredients typically include white beans, cured meats, bacon and sausage. “It can also be made with duck, goose or lamb,” he adds.

Cassoulet usually doesn’t come with a side dish, as it’s heavy and satisfying enough on its own. “You simply eat it with some white bread, and a glass of wine along with the meal,” explains Karlsch. – dpa