Hearing “New Orleans” conjures images of Mardi Gras, hurricane damage, and the Saints, but what’s missing is the food. It may not top the list for culinary cities like New York and Paris, but New Orleans has some of the tastiest foods you’ll ever try and best restaurants you’ll ever visit. So what exactly should you eat when you’re in New Orleans? You’re about to find out.
What’s not to love about fried dough covered with sugar? Beignets are sort of a fritter/donut served warm and dusted with powdered sugar. You can eat them any time of day–as breakfast or dessert! Cafe du Monde is probably the most well-known place to eat them in New Orleans and it’s always busy–when you visit, you’ll understand why!
When it comes down to it, boudin is basically just sausage. But what you might not have known is that there are many varieties of boudin used in Cajun cooking: boudin blanc, boudin noir, boudin rouge, crawfish boudin, and shrimp boudin. If you’re squeamish about blood sausage, steer clear of the boudin noir and boudin rouge as both contain pig blood.
It seems so simple, but the Po’Boy is one of those perfect food items that is so easy to screw up, but so amazing when it’s done well. It’s nothing more than a bunch of meat and maybe some veggies and sauces served on a baguette-like French bread. Traditional types include roast beef and shrimp, but you can find some other varieties made with pulled pork and chicken. No matter what type you choose, you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll want another immediately after you’ve finished.
Gumbo was created by the Louisiana Creole people in the 18th century and has been around since. That’s got to say something about how tasty this dish is. It’s a simple dish consisting of a strong soup stock, some meat and/or seafood, and a few vegetables. All of that is served over a bit of rice, which makes for a filling and satisfying dish. If you’ve never tried it, the shrimp and sausage variety is especially delicious and has a bit of a kick.
Similar in theory to gumbo, étouffée is a stew-like dish made from a roux with some spices and shellfish. All of this is then poured over rice, which is where étouffée gets its name–it means “smothered,” which is exactly what you do to the rice with it. Do yourself a favor and try the crawfish étouffée. You won’t be disappointed.
New Orleanians love their seafood, so you’re probably not going to escape it at all while there. Jambalaya is another dish that’s packed full of lots of ingredients, including in most cases several kinds of meat! Similar to the Spanish paella, Jambalaya consists of rice, meat, and vegetables. Try some with Andouille sausage and shrimp for a wonderful explosion of flavor.
New Orleans is a culinary delight and the food alone is reason enough to visit the Big Easy. While you’re busy packing in all the sights and sounds of the city, be sure to stuff yourself with as much Cajun and Creole food as your stomach will expand to allow!
Note: I am working as a blogger ambassador as part of Hipmunk.com’s #HipmunkCityLove campaign, and this post was sponsored by Hipmunk.