When traveling to New Orleans is important to note that they do things differently than in any other area of the country, especially when it comes to food. Here are five tips to help you navigate N.O. like a pro.
1. It’s sno-balls, not sno-cones, in New Orleans.
In New Orleans, don’t dare order a sno-cone at a sno-ball stand. Sno-cones are made with crushed ice. New Orleans original sno-balls are made with the SnoWizard machine, invented in 1936 New Orleans. The local device produces velvety, shaved ice that is so smooth it can be paired with various crèmes. Sno-balls are often served with condensed milk and “stuffed” sno-balls have an ice cream center.
2. Don’t Inhale …
Both New Orleanians and tourists enjoy a breakfast of French Quarter beignets, a fried pastry similar to funnel cake. But, locals know to be wary of the treat’s powdered sugar coat. If you exhale when the beignet is close to your mouth, sugar will fly everywhere. If you inhale deeply, some may go up your nose. Just be careful or wear white — so no one will notice if you become doused in confectioner’s sugar. Another beignet for beginners tip: order a café au lait and dip the beignet like biscotti.
3. Gumbo isn’t just one thing.
Gumbo is a soup made with a roux and okra and is best enjoyed when tailgating. But, when used as an adjective, it’s a synonym for the word mix. For example: Louisiana’s people represent a gumbo of cultures. The history behind this definition is that gumbo, the dish, developed from an assortment of people in New Orleans. It is a product of African, American Indian, Spanish and French immigrants in Louisiana. And, gumbo is still prepared in different variations according to the heritage of the chef. Creole gumbo is prepared with tomatoes (Spanish and French influence), while Cajun (descendants of French Acadians) gumbo is thicker, darker and spicier. Some recipes use American Indian file powder made from ground sassafras leaves. Gumbo can also be prepared with seafood, chicken, sausage or alligator. A myriad of combinations hatch from this gumbo of ingredients.
Read more: National Geographic