Prepare yourself for an amazing journey into delicious Cajun and Creole speciality dishes that will dazzle your senses and make your taste-buds dance with joy !
When in New Orleans – you must try some, if not all of its famous cuisine. A melting pot of cultures, New Orleans blends flavours and ingredients influenced by English, French, Spanish, Caribbean, Creole and Cajun people, creating a unique culinary experience. Served as everything from tasty street food in the French Market, to beautifully presented cuisine in the City’s high end restaurants, you’ll find something to suit every taste and budget !
Beignets are delicious freshly-fried squares of dough, topped with a generous amount of powdery sugar. Some people think that they’re sickly sweet, but in reality they are a concept, very much like Mexican churos or New England’s fried dough. You can enjoy them in most coffee shops in New Orleans – or eat them as you stroll amongst the many stalls in the French Market. If you’d like to make your own, here is the recipe.
A Po’boy is a long bread roll, filled with your choice of deep-fried oysters or chicken and served over lettuce. Enjoy with lots of Louisiana’s trademark Tabasco sauce and mayo. A great place to enjoy a Po’boy is on the balcony at the Cornet Restaurant overlooking Bourbon Street (see the page header photo above).
OK, perhaps not your natural first choice – but served as sausages or fritters, with a rice accompaniment, it’s highly seasoned and is quite delicious. If you’d like to try an alligator omelette for breakfast, perhaps washed down with their award-winning Cajun Bloody Mary’s, head for a branch of Daisy Duke’s situated either on Chartres Street in the French Quarter, St Charles Avenue or Carondelet Street.
Crawfish are freshwater shrimp, served in a number of ways – perhaps simply steamed, shell-on, or shelled and mixed with savoury rice in tasty little pies (resembling Cornish pasties / Jamaican patties). Alternatively restaurants can prepare them as a delicious Étouffée (in a creamy Cajun sauce and served with rice or vegetables).
Pronounced “Praw-leens”. Sold everywhere from smart Pralines Stores to souvenir shops. Pralines are a sweet confection, visually resembling cookies, but with the texture of fudge. Firm, yet crumbly with some chewiness, they come in many varieties. Perhaps one of the most delicious in the French Quarter is Loretta’s Pralines.
A Gumbo is a rich and hearty soup-like stew, typically combining andouille sausage, chicken, bell peppers, celery, onion, garlic, crawfish and other shellfish in a spicy creole sauce. Often served as a starter and available in many bars, restaurants and hotels. One of the most delicious is served at the Luke Restaurant on St Charles Avenue. To make an authentic New Orleans Gumbo at home, try this Betty Crocker recipe.
Perhaps best described as somewhere between a spicy Paella and a Risotto, Jambalaya is classic local dish with Spanish, French and Creole influences. A mixture of rice with various combinations of meat, shrimp, andouille sausage & chicken in a spicy sauce, the result is always delicious. To make Jambalaya at home, try this great recipe.
A Mint Julep is refreshing Southern cocktail of Bourbon & sugar syrup with muddled fresh mint leaves. Watch expert bar tender Chris McMillan show you how to make this classic New Orleans tipple.
Created at Brennan’s restaurant in 1951 and named after local Commissioner Richard Foster, this dessert comprises bananas cooked in a butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and rum sauce, often prepared at your table by the waiter using a flambé method. The resulting banana mixture can be used as a filling for crêpes, or served with vanilla ice-cream (often referred to in the USA as “à la mode”).