Russell Brunelle (russellb) wrote,
Russell Brunelle

Louisiana cuisine

I realize that Virginia is famous for its hams, but correctly or incorrectly, the impression I'd formed prior to leaving was that Louisiana would be the last state I'd pass through on this trip which would have an entirely new (at least to me) TRADITION of cooking.

So, I tried a lot of things: crawfish (aka crayfish), catfish, boudin, dirty rice, red beans and rice, fried okra, "alligator on a stick," etc.

However, after all this experimentation, I still didn't find anything I liked more than the two Louisiana dishes I was already familiar with: red beans and rice (my favorite by far), and red jambalaya (predictable since I also like paella).

But here's the interesting thing: you rarely see red beans and rice on the menu in Louisiana, at least by my experience. And according to what I've read, red beans and rice (despite its traditional status for the state) isn't considered a way for Louisiana chefs to differentiate themselves due to its simplicity, hence its avoidance.

I'm reminded in this regard of the fact that I've visited the flagship art museums of San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Paris, as well as MOMA in New York City, yet I've so far failed to see in any museum anything which could exceed the beauty of what I saw during the eleven days I spent walking around Mount Rainier.

Maybe the lesson is the same: that it's difficult to improve on nature.

Or maybe I just got lucky.

I don't know :)
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