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!