New Orleans is known for many things, from the artists of Jackson Square to the jazz music down Bourbon Street, and of course the Mardi Gras festival. However, when it comes to food, they certainly know how to chow down! Here are some of the best foods you have to try when you are in New Orleans.
If you ask anyone in New Orleans, they will tell you that their grandmother makes the very best gumbo. It’s the ultimate home cooked comfort food, with a roux base and perhaps duck, or rabbit… Sometimes tomato, perhaps with okra, or a light roux with shrimp – there are so many options. It’s a delicious fusion of Native America, Caribbean, African and French cultures that sums up the city itself. If you’re visiting and can’t get a kindly old grandma to make you a dish, there are plenty of restaurants that pride themselves on their gumbo.
If you’re looking for a delicious lunch, check out a muffuletta sandwich! The muffuletta loaf is similar to focaccia and is large and round, but relatively flat, and the sandwich became popular with Italian immigrants in the city. The bread will be filled with swiss cheese, olive salad, salami, ham, provolone, and mortadella – it’s certainly not short on ingredients.
Another famous New Orleans sandwich is the po-boy, so called as it was a cheap sandwich made of gravy, offcuts of roast beef and French bread, sold to the striking streetcar drivers in 1929 – a poor boy. Now it’s popular with everyone and involves fried seafood, ham, and cheese or a hot sausage to name a few variations.
Yep, turtle soup is in fact made from actual turtles – snapping turtles to be exact, which are very plentiful in the area and tend to be a little vicious. The soup tends to have turtle stick, turtle meat, hard-boiled eggs and a splash of sherry (which is often given directly to the person enjoying the soup so that they can add in their own desired amount). Beware of ‘mock turtle soup’ if you are looking for the authentic dish as this uses veal instead of turtles.
Easily one of the most popular dishes in New Orleans, Jambalaya is a one-pot meal that really packs a punch. There is so much flavor and bold spice in this dish that it is an absolutely must-eat when you visit. The concept of the meal is pretty simple – it consists of rice and vegetables, with a meat such as chicken, sausage, or shrimp. However, this is where the similarity ends, as there are so many variants that make each person’s version of Jambalaya totally different.
These tasty little bites are somewhere between an English fritter or a French donut and are made with choux pastry that has been deep fried and covered in powdered sugar, to be served for breakfast or desert interchangeably. The idea is that you eat them hot, as soon as they have been cooked and often washed down with a cafe au lait to carry on the French theme.
This is just a small sampling of some of the sumptuous offerings available in New Orleans. From quirky restaurants to authentic street food, you really can’t go wrong when eating in New Orleans, and if you check out this list, you will be pretty happy (and very full!).