GumboThis dish originated in Louisiana in the 18th century and usually contains shellfish, chicken, sausage, capsicums and stock. It’s often thickened with ground sassafras leaf, known locally as filé.
Red Beans and RiceTraditionally, this dish of stewed kidney beans and white rice was served on Mondays in Louisiana. Leftover pork bones and spices like cayenne, thyme and bay would lend their flavour to the slowly simmering pot as women were busy doing laundry.
BeignetsPronounced “ben-yays”, these are golden squares of pastry dusted with confectioner’s sugar – think a cross between a croissant and a donut. New Orleans’ Café Beignet is so famous for these fried sweet treats that even the birds try and break into the establishment to steal your snack!
CrawfishYes, they’re the same as crayfish, but we feel more Southern if we say it like them. These freshwater crustaceans are similar to lobsters and are often found in the swamps of Louisiana then thrown into etouffees (soups).
Collard GreensThe kale craze is nothing new. Nope, Southern US folk have been tossing these bitter leaves with seasoning and serving them up at family dinners as a staple dish for decades.
Fried ChickenForget the colonel and his secret recipe! Apparently the secret to perfect southern fried chicken is soaking it in buttermilk overnight before coating and frying.
CocktailsOn the side of respectable boutique French Quarter hotel the Dauphine Orleans is a tell-tale red light that hints at a more racy past. In fact, the owners of the hotel have here preserved an old bordello called May Baily’s Place. Surrounded by Victorian portraits of madams, you can sit and sip a aniseedy Sazerac or a citrusy Daiquiri.
JambalayaInfluenced by Spain and France, Jambalaya is similar to a paella and consists of meat (usually chicken and sausage), seafood, rice, stock and herbs.