Tastes of Louisiana

My life in Louisiana is finally taking off.  All of the equipment for the podcast & YouTube channel is arriving.  It’s like Christmas morning unpacking cameras, mixers, microphones and more!  This is a dream come true for me as the team puts together shows featuring the amazing food and culture of this beautiful state!  Stay tuned for announcements and exciting news.  In the meantime read a bit about the history of food in the state.  I have to practice the small amounts of delicious things rule in order to stay in shape!  One visit here and you’ll know why.

I never realized what an impact so many different groups of settlers had on the food we enjoy today.  Originally the French, then Spaniards, Germans, Acadians, African Americans, Italians and those who settled here from the Caribbean.  Each of these groups of people brought their country’s cuisine with them and integrated it into what has become one of the most extensive offerings of culinary delights of any state in this country.  The late chef, Anthony Bourdain, once stated that New Orleans has the best cuisine of any place he ever visiting in the entire world.  I agree whole heartedly!

African slaves brought their native dish GOMBO.  Originally Gombo was an okra stew.  Meat and seafood were added as years passed until the dish became what we know as Gumbo.  Okra is a staple in Louisiana cuisine. It’s many health benefits are coming to the fore making me want it even more.  Fried, stewed with creole tomato and sweet onion….there are so many delicious ways to prepare okra!

 Italian immigrants introduced their “red gravy” to the New Orleans area creating quite an impact on the already established Creole cuisine.  In fact, the difference between Creole and Cajun cooking is tomato.  You won’t find tomato in authentic Cajun cooking yet Creole dishes use it in many sauces and other dishes.  One of my favorite times of year here is when Creole tomatoes are in season.  Big, juicy fruit that smells and tastes so exquisite.  There’s nothing quite like a good Creole tomato.

The whole state of Louisiana has various specialties introduced by settlers.  Germans brought dairy farming and sausage making while Acadians shared their delicious one pot meals.  Jambalaya is actually what the Spanish would call Paella.  Of course each of these dishes has evolved and the flavors updated as various cooks have had their way with recipes passed down through families.

A visit to Louisiana is a must!  Not only is the state beautiful but the food is unforgettable!  We really do let the good times roll here.  So do come visit and don’t forget your dancing shoes!

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