Top Ten Louisiana Foods We Can’t Live Without
There is a reason Louisianans are some of the most unhealthy people on the planet. I got one word: food. We love food in Louisiana. We love to cook it and we love to eat it. Most of the time, the food that drives us is loaded with saturated fats, high in sodium and cholesterol, or has ten gallons of sugar in it.
The first two foods on the list are the proof in the pudding.
1.) Boiled Crawfish/shrimp/crab/snow crab legs or all of the above
Commercial sales of crawfish didn't start till the late 1800s in Louisiana. Native Americans have been eating these 'mud bugs' long before the Acadians took up residency along the bayous. Why did they eat crawfish? They were abundant and slow moving, making them an easy catch that could feed a lot of people. As far as the boiling tradition, it's believed to have started when Cajuns arrived from Canada in the 1700s. Thus, a boil is going down if you have crawfish, crab, snow crab legs, or any other seafood.
2.) King Cake
The King Cake tradition started in New Orleans around 1870. Its origin is France, and like the ones we eat today, featured a puff pastry with flaky texture and a design. The name derives from biblical Magi and refers to the three kings who brought baby Jesus gifts. Traditionally, whoever gets the slice with the baby in it is king for the day, but is also responsible for hosting the next Fat Tuesday event and bringing the next king cake.
The word beignet (pronounced ben-YAY) derives from the word bigne, which means “to raise.” They were brought to New Orleans in the 18th century by French colonists. Of course, the word beignet is also French, meaning “fritter.” The famous powdered sugar delights are fried yeast dough, served up in two-inch squares.
Pronounced BOO-dan, it's cooked with sausage, pork meat, and rice mixed together and stuffed in a pork casing. The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word. "sausage." In the very beginning, it first showed up in ancient Greece by a cook named Aphtonite. The Louisiana French settlers from Nova Scotia brought their variation of the delicious delicacy to Louisiana. However, it should be noted that they got their sausage making skills from the Germans.
5.) Boudin Balls
As soon as Cajun boudin was developed in Louisiana, boudin balls were born. They're made out of all the same ingredients boudin is made with, the only difference is the sausage, seasoning, pork meat and rice mixture is breaded and fried. The rest is food history.
A French food, "Cracklin" is deep fried pork belly. It includes three tasty and highly seasoned layers: crunchy top skin, juicy fat, and tender meat. It's probably among the worst things on the earth to eat, but it's delicious. No telling how long cracklin' has been made in Louisiana, but it's safe to say a very long time. In the boot state, we eat everything from the pig, from the rooter to the tooter.
The term po-boy derives from, of course, "poor boy." It was first referred to as a sandwich by Bennie and Clovis Martin, back in the late '20s during the streetcar strike. The brothers were streetcar conductors, but later opened a coffee stand and restaurant in the French Market, basically making the term a household name. So much so, it started appearing in newspapers, and by the early '30s, on restaurant menus.
8.) Community Coffee
Since the early 1900s, Louisianans have been getting their caffeine fix with Community Coffee. In 1919, Henry Norman "Cap" Saurage started his new coffee company from his house.
9.) The Lucky Dog Hotdog
New York isn't the only American city known for its dogs. The famous Lucky Dog vendors can be found all over the French Quarter in New Orleans, thanks to brothers Joe and Steve Loyacano who founded the Lucky Dogs Company in the Big Easy back in 1948.
This famous soup over rice dates back to at least the 18th century in Louisiana. Much like crawfish, it was meant to feed a lot of people and was relatively inexpensive to make. Gumbo was made with leftover scraps and a roux, which is a thick gravy. Throughout the ages, folks have been making their own specialty brew by adding chicken, sausage, all types of seafood, spices, and more.