|Sweet Potato Brioche|
|Crispy Smoked Quail Salad with Pears & Bourbon Molasses|
|Muscadine Jelly & Peanut Crust "Linzer Torte" with Candied Peanuts|
|Houses prepared for Halloween|
Before our walking tour of Faubourg Marigny we stopped at the Envie Cafe for lunch. As we were finishing our Prosciutto & Asparagus Panini and local English Brown Ale, Abita Turbodog, our guide and the rest of the tour group arrived.
The Faubourg Marigny district was home to the Creoles. Think of them as French speaking Catholics of mixed black, French, Spanish descent, and one of the most unique culture’s in America. See definitions below for more specifics.
Famous or infamous people who live in the Marigny include Bernard de Marigny (gambler, playboy, developer, politician and duelist) and Marie Laveau (the "voodoo queen” who wielded power base on her vast knowledge of personal affairs gathered by her spies, most notably via hair salon gossip.) Note: Voodoo came to the area from the Caribbean and is an integral part of the culture.
We also learned about New Orleans architecture with house styles such as Creole Cottage and Shotgun House. Shotgun Houses had doors in the front and rear that aligned with the interior room doors allowing air to flow through (natural air conditioning) and for a shotgun to shoot straight through.
|Colorful Creole Cottages|
Dinner at GW Fins began with a glass of Prosecco, it was Friday. The “bread course" was biscuits and whipped butter, yummy. Pat selected the Fried Soft Shell Crab with Toasted Cashews. Bill chose the Wasabi Crusted Wahoo. We shared Roasted Brussel Sprouts and a bottle of Viognier. Dessert was an irresistible and amazingly light White Chocolate & Caramel Bread Pudding with Dark Chocolate Chunks and Pecans (no fat or calories!!).
|Biscuits and Whipped Butter|
|Soft Shelled Crab - lovely presentation|
|Gumbo at Mr B's Bistro|
|Profiteroles with Amazing Chocolate|
|Spoons with varying stages of roux from uncooked (light) to done|
|Bread Pudding ready to eat|
|Tombs at Lafayette Cemetary #1|
|Pat taking a photo of a memorial to Jefferson Davis|
...in front of the house where he ended his years.
Tuesday we took a tour along River Road (the road along the levees of the Mississippi River) just north of New Orleans. There was a time when this road passed through hundreds of sugar plantations. There are only a few left. Not all plantations were big and beautiful. Most were simply practical facilities focused on sugar production. We started our visit at Oak Alley and learned that the plantation land and basic buildings were purchased by a wealthy gentleman who envisioned the Alley of Oak Trees as leading to a grand plantation there. It is also one of the more commercial current-day plantations with guest houses and event facilities.
Next we visited a plantation now know as " Laura". It has 5 centuries of history and is one of the few still in painted in bright Creole colors. An interesting guided tour of the house and gardens tells a lot about the history of the plantation and people who lived there.
On the trip back we were given a summary of favorite restaurants in New Orleans. We decided to go back to GW Fins for dinner and were not disappointed, Pat had Cobia (a somewhat dense but flaky white fish) and Bill tried the Black Drum (a more meaty fish). Both were very tasty.
Gumbo: a thick soup of protein and vegetables that is served over or along side rice.
Jambalay: a rice dish that contains the protein and vegetables.
Cajun: descendants of French Canadians known as Acadians who typically live in the bayou areas of south central and south west Louisiana. They used to speak an archaic form of French but this has mostly been dropped as the school systems emphasized English and speaking "cajun" became a stigma.
Creole: Originally referred to someone born in Louisiana, hence there could be French Creoles, Spanish Creoles, Black Creoles... This term has evolved to refer to all people of very old Louisiana heritage of whatever background (French, Spanish, Black, Native American and/or African) including mixed backgrounds.
Creole cuisine, reflecting the broad heritage of their mixed backgrounds, uses tomatoes. Proper Cajun food does not. That's how you tell a Cajun versus Creole gumbo or jambalaya. A vastly over-simplified way to describe the two cuisines is to deem Creole cuisine "city food" and Cajun cuisine "country food."