Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What to Eat in Louisiana

Louisiana is famous for delicious food, and there's no shortage of options between its Cajun, Creole, and Southern styles. Here are a few must-have dishes when in the state:

Fried catfish, preferably covered in etouffee:

I had this at Parrain's in Baton Rouge, a no-frills restaurant with some of the best seafood in town. Another classic Cajun dish is gumbo, made with andouille sausage and spices:

As famous as Louisiana is for its seafood, it's also known for these sweet treats:

Beignets and chicory coffee - found of course at the famous Cafe Dumonde in New Orlean's French Quarter, but also made fresh at off-the-beaten-track cafes throughout the state, if you know where to look. I love how these fluffy hot pastries cut through the bitter, rich coffee (and it must be noted that it's virtually impossible to eat these gracefully - there will be powdered sugar all over the table, and probably your face.) These beignets pictured are from Coffee Call in Baton Rouge.

And for the more adventurous eaters, one has to try fried alligator, if purely just to say you did:

It tastes like slightly gamey chicken, much milder than I expected. Though of course I'd probably eat an old shoe if it was battered and fried ...

Just be sure to get it fresh, and not from can.

Oh, Louisiana.

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