Top 10 Foods to Eat in Louisiana
By Susan McKee
The Road Trips Foodie
Your Road Trips Foodie spent some time wandering Louisiana last week, so that’s the cuisine on her mind. Here are the ten foods you absolutely, positively, definitely have to try when you’re in the Pelican State (and, no, “pelican” is not one of the choices).
This Cajun smoked sausage is made of pork meat and pork stomach. You’ll find it often in gumbo and jambalaya.
The deep-fried dough squares dusted heavily with powdered sugar are a breakfast staple, but your Road Trips Foodie prefers them with coffee for an afternoon treat.
The spicy Cajun sausage is stuffed with cooked pork and rice. Note: this is an eat-on-the-go food in Louisiana. You pick it up, hot and savory, at a gas station or local food store, and suck the insides out of the casing as you drive (although most people don’t even make it out of the parking lot with their boudin intact).
The Louisiana way to eat catfish is fried in filet strips and accompanied by hush puppies and coleslaw.
This small tasty freshwater crustacean is prized for its tasty tail meat – it takes a whole mess to make a meal.
It can be any of countless variations of a thick soup or stew made with a roux base and the “Holy Trinity” plus chicken, seafood, sausage or wild game.
Jambalaya (pictured, above left)
A regional specialty, this hearty one-pot meal of rice plus the “Holy Trinity” plus meat, seafood or poultry often includes tomatoes.
These savory fried turnovers are filled with onion, bell peppers, ground beef and/or pork. Turnovers that are baked generally contain a fruit jam, such as blueberry or fig.
Mufaletta (or, mufuletta)
It’s a large, round sandwich made up of Italian-style meats, cheeses and olive salad on a bread that’s much like the Italian foccacia. Although it’s a New Orleans classic, another good place to try it is Natchitoches (they’re a specialty, too, in that northwest Louisiana city).
Poboy (or, poorboy)
This is the Louisiana submarine sandwich, using crusty French bread that’s filled with shrimp, oysters, soft shell crab, ham and cheese or maybe roast beef.
…and, don’t forget the Tabasco sauce (it comes in six variations plus the original).
Here’s a brief Louisiana food glossary:
Crawfish are also called mudbugs (’cause they burrow down into the mud alongside a river or other fresh water.
According to Wikipedia, gumbo originated in Louisiana in the 18th century, and combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including French, Spanish, German, West African, and Choctaw.
In Louisiana, the “Holy Trinity” often refers to celery, bell pepper and onion, the essential trio for authentic Cajun cookery.
Jambalaya is generally acknowledged to be a Creole dish with both French and Spanish antecedents. It generally includes meats, vegetables, stock and rice and is a close cousin to Spain’s paella.
A roux is a cooked sauce consisting of equal parts flour and oil.