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How long can food be preserved in a cassoulet? Duck fat can't possibly last indefinitely?

sugarcanejane | May 17, 201605:04 AM

I am reading a book called The Matchmaker of Perigord. One of the characters is the custodian of a cassoulet his mother started 31 years before. While this worked as a great metaphor in the book, it made me curious: is such a thing possible? Below are a few excerpts from the book dealing with this subject:

"He tugged it out and dropped the preserved duck leg into the cassoulet made by his mother thirty-one years ago and which had been on the go ever since."

"The flesh had long since dropped off, his mother having first added it to the pot nineteen years ago in celebration of his opening a barber shop in the village."

"From amongst the beans emerged an onion dating from March 1999, several carrots added only the previous week..."

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Tia!

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