Tag Archives: New Orleans French Market

French Quarter Bars New Orleans Dining New Orleans Events

French Market’s Holiday Cooking Demonstrations

Commanders palace crab soup

 

 

 

No matter what a holiday or celebration calls for, in New Orleans, rest assured that food will play a major role in the festivities. Whether that’s cooking at home for family and friends or learning how to cook from local masters, food always finds a way into the holiday fun.

Cooking demonstrations have become a popular travel activity, as visitors often love to take home a new set of recipes or cooking methods from the places they visit. Already known worldwide for its unique and timeless cuisine, New Orleans is a city rife with opportunities to bring a fresh cooking experience home for the holidays.

This year, as part of the holiday celebrations, The Market Stage at the French Market will host a series of holiday cooking demonstrations by local professional chefs. These demonstrations will give both locals and visitors a chance to see various dishes, prepared by the masters themselves, that they can bring home to their own holiday tables.

The demonstrations take place on Tuesdays through Fridays in December from Dec. 17th through 20th at 2pm, and they last about 30 minutes, plus samplings to follow. Admission is free for all, but seating is limited. read more »

New Orleans Community

Eat Local, Eat Fresh: New Orleans’ Farmers Markets

creole tomatoes at the farmers market

Tasty Creole Tomatoes

Sustainability has become a hot topic in the current age of conservation and self-sufficient living. For residents of New Orleans, this is no exception, and locals and visitors alike can easily enjoy the scrumptious, fresh delights like local produce, seafood, dairy, farm-raised meat, fresh baked goods, and cut flowers via local farmers markets regularly held around the city.

If you’d like to sample some fresh local produce on your next visit to New Orleans, there are a number of farmers markets to choose from and several different locations. Every day at the edge of the French Quarter on Decatur St, the French Market is an expansive marketplace covering several blocks with tents and tables of goods from 10am till 6pm. The market is filled to the brim with food and merchandise vendors of all stripes, including many local farmers, bakers, fishermen and the like.

Crescent City Farmers Market hosts markets at three different locations three days of the week, so there’s a chance you’ll be able to see at least one of them on your next visit. The Thursday Market is held Thursday afternoon in Mid-City at Orleans Ave and Bayou St. John, which makes for a beautiful location and a lovely breeze while you browse. On Saturday mornings, the market is held downtown at Magazine St and Girod St, which is also a nice contrasting background to walk through, with fresh produce and other goods peddled against the backdrop of the city’s downtown and Warehouse District areas.

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New Orleans Festivals

New Orleans Creole Tomatoe Festival

Big juicy ripe red creole tomatoes

Locally Harvested, Juicy Creole Tomatoes

 

It seem that all we do in New Orleans is eat, and listen to music, and go to festivals to eat and listen to music.  So what’s wrong with that?   This weekend’s Annual Creole Tomato Festival, together with the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, at the French Market combines two of our favorite things-cajun/zydeco music and the aphrodisiac Creole tomato.

The Louisiana state legislature designated the Creole tomato the official vegetable plant of Louisiana in 2003.   (Okay, we know it’s technically a fruit, but that’s irrelevant for this discussion.  We honor the Creole tomato, no matter what its horticultural designation).   We locals look forward to their arrival the way folks in the Midwest do to the first sweet corn.   The Creole tomato usually means any tomato grown in southeast Louisiana, typically in St. Bernard and Placquemines Parish in that famous alluvial river soil.   They’re “open-pollinated,” and they have a crown at the root!   There’s no specific breed as such, although they were originally developed by LSU.  (Some sources say it was developed in the West Indies, but who knows?)  It just has to do with the soil, and the sultry Louisiana humidity.   You can grow your own—if you’re in the right place, with the right soil and climate—from varieties like Celebrity, Better Boy, Fantastic, Monte Carlo, Bingo, Big Beer, and Sunleaper. Slap a slice or two on some white bread, add bacon and mayonnaise, and you’re in summer mode for real.  Your host at Southern Comfort Bed and Breakfast loves this sandwich!

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New Orleans Community

Mr. Okra……Fruits and Vegetables!

Everyone’s New Year’s resolution these days seems to include eating better. In New Orleans, the home of fried food and starchy red beans and rice, oil and flour-thickened roux for gumbo, etc. etc., that may seem to be an impossible dream. But think about all the fruit and vegetable vendors in town, and it may not seem so far-fetched.  After all, we have one of the last remaining singing mobile fruit and vegetable vendors in the country, Mr. Okra.  Mr. Okra is famous these days for his newly painted truck, but his musical announcements for his wares dates back to the 19th century in New Orleans.  If you’ve never heard this “I’ve got eatin’ pears, I’ve got apples,” sung in a strange rhythmic cadence, you’re in for a surprise.  Sung in different ways to differentiate themselves from each other, street food songs have been a presence n New Orleans for many years.  A recording made by music historians, The Classic Sounds of New Orleans, on the Smithsonian Folkways label, features Dora Bliggen, another old-time fruit vendor who could have had another career as a jazz singer. Now, there’s just Mr. Okra who cries his wares, using a speaker and Autotune to surreal (and startling) effect, but there are still folks in New Orleans set up all over town in different locations selling fresh vegetables or fruit from their trucks.  Some of it is local produce in season-strawberries from Ponchatoula, or oranges from Plaquemines Parish, or greens from St. Bernard Parish truck farmers.  Wherever you drive in town, you may see one of these trucks.

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