Tips When Visiting New Orleans: Culinary Aspects
Food With Southern Love
One thing you can always count on when traveling south is the fact that you will be able to eat well. From an array of choices, southern food is made with one important ingredient, love. And I can speak for the south when I say we love to eat. There are many different cultures and culinary traditions when eating in the south. New Orleans is a melting pot for a lot of these different types of dishes. There are a few “must eats” when visiting New Orleans. The city is great, but the food is to die for.
One notable food is a great way to start the morning off or refuel from a long day of touring the sites of New Orleans is the famous Beignets. One of the most famous places to get these delicious treats is Café Du Monde. This is a great indoor and outdoor café with great coffee and those awesome Beignets. For those who are not familiar with Beignets, they are similar to a doughnut. They are a deep fried doughnut batter topped with confectioner’s sugar. The whole family can enjoy these treats with a great cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Best part about them is the powder sugar. It’s fun to blow the powder sugar right when someone you know is taking a bite. Make sure when you are hungry for a appetizing treat, check out the Beignets at Café Du Monde.
If you are looking more for a meal then this next great southern dish has just what you need. Loaded with so many goodies like chicken, smoked sausage, seafood and vegetables, Gumbo is another great dish that is like a meal all in one serving. Gumbo, along the traditions of soup, is kind of like a southern stew. Instead of meat and large vegetables, gumbo has many other ingredients. If you are feeling adventurous and like to try new things, many of the restaurants in the south have this great dish on the menu. I know a lot to the times you can get either a cup or a bowl serving. Gumbo is great meal to have especially during the cold months. It is a great way to warm up inside. Best part about this dish is you can make it as mild or as hot as you would like. Traditionally gumbo is served over a bed of rice. And don’t forget to have some bread so that you can soak up the mouth-watering broth at the bottom of the bowl.
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A more seasonal culinary great that Louisiana is known for and used in many dishes when available is good old Crawfish. Also referred to as “Mud Bugs,” Crawfish are a wonderful southern delicacy. I like to call them mini-lobsters. These types of critters are fresh water living organisms that are fun to eat. Just like you would boil crab or lobster, Crawfish are cooked very similar. Difference is how much spices you want to use to make them full of flavor. There is not much meat in them which is why you should order these Crawfish by the pound. They are packed with some serious taste. They are mostly available during the spring time. So if you are visiting New Orleans around that time, pop into a local restaurant and try a few for yourselves. And if you let the staff know it is your first time eating them, they will show you the technique on getting the meat out of the Crawfish. If you have family in New Orleans there is nothing like getting together and having a big old Crawfish boil. Great thing about a Crawfish boil is adding all the ingredients you love. From corn on the cob, mushrooms, sausage, and potatoes, boiling Crawfish is a great way to enjoy one of the more delectable tastes of the south.
One thing is for sure about southern cooking is that we love our seafood. There are many ways to prepare our seafood. You can boil it, put it in gumbo or soup recipes or barbeque it. One of the more traditional and favorite ways to cook seafood like shrimp, oysters and catfish is to fry it and put between two pieces of bread. This is known as the poboy. That’s right; there is nothing better than a delicious poboy. Fried seafood between two pieces of Louisiana French bread is a great way to taste the best of the southern cooking. Dressed up with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise, a poboy is the hot sandwich of the south. If you are not a seafood fan, or are allergic, other ways to enjoy a poboy would be a hot sausage poboy, or a messy roast beef poboy. New Orleans loves to treat visitors with a great tasting poboy.
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Another place with lots of history to eat at is Central Market located in the French Quarter. This is home to the original Muffaletta. This is a famous Italian style sandwich loaded with lots of flavors and meats. This is an old counter serve deli, with lots of exotic meats, cheeses and pickled mason jars of flavors. I would advise to grab your sandwich, and a root beer and find a nice seat in the French Quarter to enjoy this sandwich because there is not much room to dine in.