December 31, 2018

Foods Only Louisiana Natives Know and Love

Foods Only Louisiana Natives Know and Love

Louisiana is known for its revelry and its food for good reason- it’s the best in the world.  The unique combinations of spices, meats and other ingredients make Louisiana dishes some of the most flavorful and opulent ones you’ll ever taste.  Some dishes have become favorites for the locals and can be expected at any Louisiana get together or dinner party. We have compiled a list of some Louisiana favorites but click here for a full list.  Grab a napkin and get ready to explore Louisiana culture through your stomach.

1.    Beignets

This delicious deep fried French doughnut made New Orleans’ Café du Monde famous.  Did you even really go to New Orleans if you didn’t check in to Cafe Du Monde?  They are sprinkled with enough powdered sugar to satisfy anyone’s sugar craving. You can also find these delectable desserts stuffed with a variety of sweet or savory ingredients like caramel or fruits.  New Orleans even has a Beignet Festival (powdered sugar heaven!), held in December, that you won’t want to miss.

2.    Pralines

The gooey caramel cookie sprinkled with caramelized pecans can be found in most corner markets in New Orleans and as the years have passed, more and more flavors have been added to the classic recipe. This sugary, buttery candy is made from butter, brown sugar and pecans, cooked in a kettle and dried on wax paper. French nuns brought these treats to New Orleans in the 1700s.They are the perfect compliment to any gift basket or Christmas gift.  The dentist may cringe at this sweet treat but your taste buds certainly won’t!

3.    Boudin

Vegetarians beware! This spicy sausage is filled with seasoned pork and rice and many locals slurp the stuffing out of the casing with one hand, while driving with the other. Boudin is served in links or in boudin balls, which are deep-fried cousins of the iconic Cajun delicacy.  Boudin comes in many flavors and varieties depending on the meats and spices that are included. Earl’s Cajun Market in Lafayette serves up excellent boudin and plate lunches. Head to Scott, Louisiana which is the Boudin Capital of the World. Stop at Billy’s Boudin and Cracklins or Don’s Specialty Meats.  Boudin can also be found on many menus throughout Louisiana.

4.    King Cake

The sweet Danish pastry is a Mardi Gras tradition and usually decorated in colored sugar of purple, green, and gold. Cakes can be plan sugar and cinnamon flavored or have a variety of stuffings like cream cheese, blueberry or other fruit filling, even chocolate or pecan.  The tradition is that whoever finds the baby, which is a tiny plastic replica of a baby, has to buy the next King Cake. The only way to find the baby is to dig in! Bon appetit!

5.    PoBoys

This is a submarine-type sandwich made with French bread. Order it “dressed” if you like your po’boy with mayonnaise, lettuce, pickles and tomato.  A Louisiana favorite comes with fried shrimp or fried oysters but you can get whatever meat you prefer inside. Try one at the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival in New Orleans, held in November. Mother’s Restaurant, also in New Orleans, serves roast beef po’boys with a type of gravy known as debris (pronounced day’-bree). Chris’ Po’boys in Lafayette is among the best restaurants in Cajun Country to satisfy your po’boy cravings.

6. Crawfish Etouffee

This is a Creole dish of rice smothered in a stew of roux, crawfish, herbs and vegetables. The roux (called a “blonde roux” for its lighter color than the kind typically used in gumbo) is a mixture of butter and flour, mixed with celery, bell peppers and onion.  In New Orleans, find crawfish étouffée at Bon Ton Café and Jacque-Imo’s. Outside the Crescent City you’ll find mouthwatering étouffée at The Chimes in Baton Rouge and at Boudreaux & Thibodaux’s in Houma.

For more news and info on Louisiana culture, click here.

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