My knowledge of today’s state comes nearly exclusively from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog and Port Orleans Resort, but that’s okay. I feel like you can’t talk about Louisiana without digging into the food, and that’s what I’m geeking over today. Creole, gumbo, crawfish, and beignets – oh my gosh. Let’s move to Louisiana, okay?

Gumbo

When Gardella was a little kid, she once ordered gumbo thinking it was Dumbo soup -like soup with elephant-shaped pasta in it. Boy was she wrong. Gumbo is about as traditional Louisiana as you can get. The dish was invented there sometimeduring the 18th century and may be a variation on the french bouillabaisse.

A traditional gumbo. Thanks on Flickr.

A traditional gumbo.
Thanks jeffreyw on Flickr.

A perfect gumbo starts with a dark roux, which is what you get when you mix fat with flour and heat it up. Traditionally, it includes the holy trinity of cajun cuisine: celery, bell peppers, and onions. In addition it’s classified by whether it’s thickened using the African vegetable okra or the Coctaw spice file powder.

A blooming okra plant. Thanks on Flickr.

A blooming okra plant.
Thanks faul on Flickr.

I like my gumbo with chicken, shrimp and some spicy andouille sausage.

Beignets

Fried dough is a pretty big staple of all American cuisine (especiall where we grew up; the Jersey shore was full on funnel cakes and zeppoles) but none quite as light and airy as the French Creole dessert that puffy up into sweet pastry pillows, covered in powdered sugar.

Beignets and coffee. Thanks on Flickr.

Beignets and coffee.
Thanks ~MVI~ on Flickr.

These desserts were brought Louisiana by French colonists, but now you can find them at Cafe du Monde, which also specializes in delicious coffee with chicory and cafe au lait. If you need to get your fix outside of the Bayou State, you can order some from Goldbely.

Get yours at Cafe du Monde. Thanks on Flickr.

Get yours at Cafe du Monde.
Thanks Dawn Huczek on Flickr.

Beignets were named the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986.

Crawfish

Crayfish, crawdads – whatever you want to call ’em, these little guys are fresh water crustaceans related to the lobster, and they are a staple in Creole cuisine. Louisiana supplies 95% of those harvested in the US, and many around the whole world.

A pile of 'em. Thanks on Flickr.

A pile of ’em.
Thanks izik on Flickr.

In the Pelican State, they are often served boiled with heavy cajun seasoning and placed on your plate whole. When presented with a crawfish in this way, it’s only appropriate to intimidate it before eating the little critter. Prefer yours prepared another way? You can also get them fried, in pie, as dressing, etouffe, or made into a bisque.

Intimidate it! Thanks on Flickr.

Intimidate it!
Thanks derekskey on Flickr.

Oh my goodness, now I’m hungry. Louisiana, your food rocks!

2

  • Louisiana is definitely a food nerd’s paradise! Take it from a geek who lives here. However, there is also so much more that is geeky in the state. From a world-class zoo to a DIY Mardi Gras parade that is truly out of this world, and so much more, it’s definitely worth a visit for any geek or nerd.

    Of course, it’s also good to visit just for the food…

    Jaclyn 1.Aug.2013 1:17 pm
  • Thanks for the tips! Unfortunately, with only one post per state, we can’t cover everything, but I wish we could. I’ll definitely have to look more into geeky stuff in LA if I ever plan a visit.

    -Dawn

    Girls Are Geeks 3.Aug.2013 7:11 pm

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