New Orleans, Louisiana, or NOLA, is a gastronomical adventure. In addition to it’s rich history, lively atmosphere, elaborate Mardi Gras celebrations, and musical talent, the Big Easy is well known for giving your tastebuds an exciting ride! Louisiana Creole cuisine is cooking style that is a delicious combination of French, Spanish, Italian, German, Irish, West African, Amerindian and Southern U.S. influences. Cajun is very similar, but the main difference is cajun, doesn’t use tomatoes. Cancun can be referred to as a country food, while creole can be considered city food. There are many dishes, unique to New Orleans, so make sure to give these a try when visiting.
This sandwich was created originally for poor boys who couldn’t afford much more than the deli scraps on to a submarine style french bread. You can find variations with shrimp, catfish, soft-shells crab or crawfish, but still a popular choice is roast beef.
The recipe is a combination of Parmesan cheese, parsley, capers with raw oysters on a half shells, topped with a creamy sauce. The original was invented in the French Quarter at Antione’s Restaurant.
This is more than a meal, it is an event, where people meet around food to celebrate whatever occasions. A proper crawfish boil involves boiling crawfish with potatoes, corn, onions, lemons, and bags of spices known as crab or crawfish boil. The outcome is super tasty. The eat the crawfish, you must break of the head, and suck the juices from it in addition to eating the tail meat.
Beignets and Cafe Au Lait
It would be a sin to not visit the world famous Cafe Du Monde to delight in the square shaped doughnuts called beignets along with a cafe au lait to wash it down. The tourists will be lined up down the street, but it moves quite fast. You can also get your beignets to go.
This stew-like soup is the Louisiana version of French bouillabaisse, except is made with okra. Seafood gumbo is usually made with okra, but chicken or other meats are usually made with a spice called filé, and thickened with dried sassafras leaves. A delicious and filling meal, you can’t leave NOLA with out giving it a taste!
This classic dish is made of rice, a meat, and everything else is up to the chef. This is the creole version of Spanish paella, filled with seasonings and other ingredients like onions, peppers, tomatoes, and such.
This delicacy includes the flesh of snapping turtles, and was U.S. President Taft’s favorite dish. This soup is also known as Caoucane in creole communities.
A heavily pork sausage that is heavily spiced, you can order it like a hotdog, or find in many creole dishes like jambalaya.
Created by historic Brennan’s Restaurant, this delectable dessert is made with bananas, ice cream, dark rum, sugar and spices.
Candied pecans make a traditional NOLA treat. One of the most famous factories is the Praline Connection on Frenchman Street.
Gator on a Stick
You can find alligator skewered and grilled or fried sold at the markets. You can also find alligator sausage.
Fried catfish is best served thin sliced, crispy, and not too greasy.
Red Beans and Rice
This side dish that accompanies many creole meals, is a delicious stew of red beans with typical New Orleans flavors. The red beans were brought over from Haiti escapees, during the slavery uprising.
Just as destructive as Hurricane Katrina, this rum cocktail made with fruit juice, syrup or grenadine can really shake things up. This concoction originates from an old speakeasy in the 1940’s called Mr. O’Brien’s Club Tipperary, which is now Pat O’Brien’s Bar in the French Quarter.
The official cocktail of New Orleans, this is the locals version of Cognac or whiskey cocktail. It contains cognac or rye, absinth, bitters, and sugar.
Enjoy tantalizing your taste buds with the special flavors of native New Orleans cuisine. Be sure to taste each of these dishes next time you visit the Crescent City.