Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat Tuesday Food Fest

In honor of Fat Tuesday, the exploration of Louisiana cuisine has begun.  In case you didn't know, Fat Tuesday marks the day before lent.  People enjoy themselves around the world celebrating the last night of eating richer, before abstaining and fasting as penance for a whole six weeks!  Louisiana does it with big style.  What better way to celebrate than making you drool with these ridiculously rich, southern dishes.

The first interesting tidbit was the difference between Créole and Cajun food.  Both use rich and flavorful ingredients, but Créole uses tomatoes and Cajun does not.  It's simple enough, but I hope I can pronounce the name of some of the dishes by the time I get there because I don't want to try oxtail or turtle anything.  Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Etouffee have so many different preparations, I have to wait to see which I want to try first.

The most desirable breakfast is obviously beignets.  The kids can't wait!  They're surely picturing a heaping pile of powdered sugar on fried dough.  I now am intrigued by meat filled beignets.  Also crabmeat and eggs anyone?  How about Cajun French toast?  The recipe Pain Perdue (Cajun "French" Toast) by Cookin'Mom looks amazing!  Pictured below is a plate of beignets and a cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde.  



For lunch the Po'Boy has to be sampled!  This sub-like sandwich grew up from a fried oyster sandwich to the variety it has today.  During a streetcar strike in the 1920s restaurant owners Benny and Clovis Martin served the strikers free sandwiches, jokingly calling them poor boys.  Language morphed into Po'Boy and now these tasty looking sandwiches are all over the place!  The most important ingredient is the French bread that is used.  With a side of dirty rice, this will be a fantastic carb fest!



The dinner favorite has to be the mudbug.  In Shreveport, LA a whole festival in May celebrates this little bottom feeder.  The tail meat is what you eat and it is put in tons of dishes!  They must be good because Louisiana is responsible for consuming around 70% of what is harvested.  Seeing the kids' faces when we encourage the to try these is going to be priceless.  I can't wait!  This is going to be fun.




Desserts are likely to make every day Fat Tuesday if I'm not careful.  King's cake, strawberries Romanoff, pecan lace cookies, doberge cake, and many, many more are available to fatten us up.  The kids are also already aware of the huckabuck, which is a frozen kool-aid concoction in a plastic cup.  Yum!  Below is the doberge cake, which is commonly used for birthdays.




This is the huckabuck.





We all talk about how good the food is going to be.  What I am wishing is to have someone pay me to write reviews because I will happily try new things!  One can dream right?  Are you drooling yet?

{beignets photo courtesy of Cafe Du Monde}
{Po'Boy photo taken by Jason Perlow}
{Doberge cake photo from 1stinflowers.com}
{huckabuck photo taken by Megan Braden Perry}
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