As you read this, I’m in Lafayette, Louisiana eating something that’s changing my life.
It’s rearranging the cells in my body and digging new pathways in my brain.
Okay, maybe by the time you’re read this, I’ll be knee-deep in a bowl of Cheerios, but you see what I’m saying.
I’m spending the next month traveling through one of America’s most delicious states and I’m taking you with me.
5 Louisiana Foods That Will Change Your Life
(and if you can’t get here, you should make your own in your Yankee kitchen)
Louisiana food you should eat: Corn and crab bisque with a side of pickled okra
Where you should eat it– Poupart Bistro
How you should make it if you can’t get here: Cajun bisque
I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty years and I’ve always stayed away from seafood because cracking open an exoskeleton is gross, you guys. But! If you put tender, sweet, delicious crab meat in a creamy corn bisque? And then serve it with a side of pickled okra to cut through all that richness? Now we’re talking.
Louisiana food you should eat: Soft, fluffy hush puppies
Where you should eat it: High hat cafe
How you should make it if you can’t get here: Hush puppy recipe
It’s slightly ridiculous that I’m recommending the hush puppies at this amazing restaurant. Just imagine that in addition to the hush puppies, I’m recommending EVERYTHING EVER. The grits, the moonshine, the pasta with crab. Yes, please. But those hush puppies? Perfect. Savory, a little spicy and I wanted to lift that tiny mayo dish to my face and lick it clean.
Louisiana food you should eat: Drive through daiquiri
Where you should eat it: Frozen Sun Daquiris
How you should make it if you can’t get here: Best strawberry daiquiri recipe (and then drink it in your parked car?)
I’m not a particularly big drinker and when I do drink, it’s usually in the form of Vodka Gimlets, favored drink of rich old ladies everywhere. But I would be remiss in my duty as a traveler if I didn’t take advantage of Louisiana’s famous drive-thru daiquiri stands.
And how exactly is it legal to have open alcohol in your car? Well, if they hand you a be-lidded daiquiri and an unopened straw then it doesn’t count as open, guys! So wait till you get back to your porch to indulge.
Louisiana food you should eat: Beignets
Where you should eat it: T-Coon’s
How you should make it if you can’t get here: Buttermilk beignets
A beignet is the donut’s significantly more awesome cousin – none of that boring hole business and perfect for dipping in your coffee. Sure, all that powdered sugar seems excessive, but I assure you, you’ll be rubbing the tail end of your beignet around your plate to grab every last bit.
T-Coon’s is a fantastic, locals-only place with adorable waitresses and a taxidermied raccoon on top of the Coke machine. And that name? It’s a nickname for Cajuns.
Louisiana food you should eat: The best Old Fashioned that’s ever happened to your mouth
Where you should eat it: Don’s Seafood and Steakhouse
How you should make it if you can’t get here: Classic Old Fashioned
Just about everything at Don’s is fantastic – the food, the friendly staff, the 1970s steakhouse decor. But let’s talk about how their Old Fashioneds are the best ever. Whiskey + bitters + a cherry + an orange wedge makes you feel like a posh, old-money southerner.
But wait! At Don’s they give you a stick with rock sugar candy with which to stir your drink. Sold.
Cajuns! What am I missing? Tell me in the comments!