Saturday, January 2, 2016 – I came across the information below recently. It perfectly depicts why Roy and I always put on weight when we are home. It also fits into the blog posts I’ve been writing about things I love in New Orleans.
Folks around this country do not know what they are missing! Even though I did not write this blog, I changed photos to ones I liked better and added and changed information I wanted you to know. I invite all of you to come down south and partake of all these wonderfully delicious dishes that are so very Louisiana!
There were originally 28 things on the list by Markita Lewis, but I removed the ones I don’t care passionately about so Rosalyn’s list is only 17 things! I guarantee this blog post will leave you quite hungry and possibly even planning a trip to Southern Louisiana to check it all out!!
You thought that leaving Louisiana would be a good idea to avoid the humidity and the heat and to see what else is going in the world. Within a week of moving to a different state, however, you realized that you might starve to death.
There are only a few (if any) restaurants that serve the types of foods you’ve eaten your entire life. You can’t make groceries (yes, make groceries) because the shelves of the grocery store are missing items that are essential to your pantry. And no one knows what a roux is! It’s a bigger culture shock than what you were expecting.
I moved from the Jambalaya Capital of the World to Georgia a year and a half ago, and I still can’t get over how different things are over here, even in a relatively close southern state. I am fortunate enough to have found some other Louisiana natives in the Peach State and though we do cook up some good food, we also talk at length about the foods we wish we had from back home.
While we’re all patiently awaiting the next time we can visit the Boot State and gain approximately 10 pounds, let’s appreciate the unique culture of Louisiana and all of the food that we took for granted.
2. Andouille Sausage
When we can’t find good Andouille or hot sausage, it’s not uncommon for us to lament at length about our lack of good sausage options.
It’s probably one of the only dishes that you’ll see commonly made in a giant cast iron pot reminiscent of a witch’s cauldron. And if you could, you would buy a jambalaya plate from somebody’s fundraiser right now.
Translated into English, this dish’s name literally means “smothered.” It is best described as a stew containing seafood (commonly shrimp or crawfish) and smothered with “the holy trinity” ( onions, bell pepper, and celery) in a roux served over rice. Eating this dish is an experience.
Originally coming from the name “poor boys,” this is a simple, yet tasty sandwich on toasted French bread. You can order it fully dressed (with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and condiments), or keep it simple with your meat of choice and some Tabasco hot sauce. My personal favorite is a fried shrimp po’boy. Sloppy roast beef po’boys are my second favorite!
This Italian sandwich from New Orleans is bigger than your head and is made with layers of deli-style meats and cheeses and a special olive salad. We might not be able to agree on how to spell or pronounce it, but we can agree that it’s an amazing sandwich.
8. King Cake
Everyone is always happy to see king cake because the appearance of king cake marks the beginning of Mardi Gras season. Alternatively, not seeing king cake is a bitter reminder that most other states don’t celebrate Mardi Gras, and yes, you do have to go to work or school on that Tuesday.
9. Seafood Platters
Even the sides are great accompaniments, with restaurants offering hushpuppies, boiled potatoes or corn, or Cajun fries (Olive Garden can keep its breadsticks).
10. Bananas Foster
A dessert made with bananas, rum, and ice cream? Sign me up! Paul Blangé had the right idea when he created this dish at Brennan’s restaurant in 1951.
King Crawfish. Known as crayfish, crawdads, or mudbugs, crawfish is a versatile crustacean that can go into any dish. You can put it in etouffeé, creole, gumbo, mac and cheese, potatoes, fish, crab cakes — the sky’s the limit.
It baffles us that people in other parts of the world find it a nuisance or use it as bait, and it saddens us that we can’t find any during crawfish season.
12. Boiled Seafood
Too late. Imagine boiled and seasoned crawfish, crabs, shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes that you can eat until your stomach hurts. Beautiful, isn’t it?
It’s common to have a seafood boil during spring or summer events like graduation, family gatherings, and national holidays. You know you’re going to have a good time when someone busts out old newspapers, cardboard boxes, and a roll of industrial paper towels.
13. Shrimp Creole
This dish involves cooked shrimp, the holy trinity, and a spiced tomato sauce over rice. It’s got a nice tangy flavor, and it’s light enough that you can go back for seconds. And trust me, you’ll want to.
If you’re in New Orleans, you can find many praline makers including Aunt Sally’s or the Magnolia Praline Company. Pro tip: It’s pronounced “praw-leen.”
In a place where it often gets to 100% humidity and temperatures in the lower 100s during the summer, we need something to stay cool. Snowballs are a perfect blend of shaved ice, syrup, and interesting additions (including candy and condensed milk), and many Louisiana natives know exactly where to go to get their fix. The snowballs in Louisiana have creative names and flavors, and the shaved ice that is used is much finer than other parts of the country.
It just doesn’t feel like summer without one.
16. Red Beans and Rice
We eat beans and rice on Monday, or really any day! Before washing machines, women in New Orleans would do laundry by hand — using a crank and wringer, sometimes boiling the clothes. And on laundry day, they needed to prepare a dinner that didn’t need a lot of TLC. Thus the tradition of making red beans on washday, Monday. New Orleans red beans always includes plenty of sausage (or andouille) and/or pickled pork.
That wraps up all the yummy foods we miss most when not in Louisiana. I still cook some of this while we’re on the road and I always make sure I’m stocked up on the ingredients I need to make those food taste like Louisiana cook made them!!
One last thing that isn’t a food, but involves food, are our food festivals. Louisiana has numerous festivals dedicated to food including the Strawberry Festival, Oyster Festival, Catfish Festival, Jambalaya Festival, Crawfish Festival and many more!
Click on the links below to go there!
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