The cuisine of New Orleans is as rich, fascinating and versatile as the vibrant people who inhabit the Crescent City.
Cajun cuisine originated with the French Acadians of Nova Scotia who settled in the bayous around New Orleans in the 18th century. Taking its cues from Acadian French cuisine, Cajun cooking has evolved over the years, with culinary contributions from Spanish, African, Choctaw and Chickasaw cultures.
If Cajun cooking is rooted in simplicity, creativity and economy, Creole cuisine is the sophisticated and somewhat exotic city slicker, the popular foods of New Orleans itself.
Known for its slow, easy-going way of life, N’awlins kicks it up a notch during Carnival, a festival that begins on Twelfth Night (the Feast of the Epiphany) and comes to a raucous conclusion on “Fat Tuesday,” better known as “Mardi Gras.” As Lent begins, the largely Catholic community settles back into the simple life or “The Big Easy.” Long before bouncing back from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, N’awlins has lived by the creed “Laissez les bons temps rouler”…Let the good times roll!
Gary – These dishes tend to be flavorful and complex – and hot. Keep in mind that high alcohol wines will enhance the capsaicin burn. The ideal pairing promotes balance between wine and food while keeping the fire under control.
Winning wine and food combinations tend toward wines that are lighter, more subtle and elegant rather than the huge, intense wines that many of us like to enjoy on their own. Look for a softer, rounder style that will not clash or overwhelm the dish you have taken so long to prepare.