New Orleans Cajun Cuisine Top Favorites
Like the rest of Louisiana, New Orleans is famous for its Cajun cuisine, with its notorious grills and aromatic stews and sea food dishes. Although the Cajun cuisine shows a lot of French influences, it evolved into a very distinct style – a mix of spices and cooking method that blends perfectly into the bohemian atmosphere of New Orleans’ French Quarter. The ongoing Mardi Gras carnival sounds like the perfect occasion to indulge on some of these New Orleans Cajun Cuisine Top Favorites:
Gumbo is a widely used term in the Cajun cuisine – however chicken gumbo is the most popular variety. A gumbo is basically a stew (others might call it a thick soup, although okra is used as a thickening agent), served over boiled rice. Except for chicken – or other types of meat – the gumbo also contains celery, onions, and peppers, which are the essential ingredients, plus any vegetable you might find in your freezer.
A very popular dish in Southern USA, jambalaya is the Cajun correspondent of the Spanish paella. The main ingredients in this dish are seafood, different types of meat or sausage and, of course, rice. Unlike in the case of paella, however, all the ingredients in jambalaya are boiled together in a rich stew – using a Dutch oven will get you ever closer to the original recipe.
No New Orleans trip should ever lack a tasting session in one of the city’s legendary French bakeries. Unlike croissants and home baked baguettes, the sweets known as beignets are typically creole. Basically a donut dough fried in oil and powdered in confectioner’s sugar, beignets are omnipresent in New Orleans.
The kings and queens of New Orleans cuisine, especially during festival times are King Cakes. Imported from Europe where it is still a traditional Christmas dish, the Kind Cake has become of the Mardi Gras Carnival symbols. The cake consists of a rink shaped bake covered in icing and multi-coloured sugar sprinkles.
The crawfish boil can be anything from a simple to a very aromatic dish. In addition to crawfish and sausage, the crawfish boil usually contains a mix of over 10 spices, from black pepper and bay leaves to chilli and oregano. Although this can be cooked home with some time and proper equipment, it’s the kind of dishes that are better served in one of New Orleans’ famed Cajun restaurants.