New Orleans confused me. She eluded me. I felt kind of deceived and guilty at the same time. In terms of this trip, I’d hoped and expected New Orleans to be the culinary highlight. Everyone had raved about it, I’d watched Jamie Oliver wax lyrical in his American series, I’d read reams of enraptured copy about New Orleans’ heady delights. Hell, the city has more names than there are meals in the day: Nola, Nawlins, the Big Easy… but I missed something. I missed lightness in my beignets, okra in my gumbo, and love in my muffaletta. But hey – I did my best, and here’s what I ate…
Coffee and beignets by the river from Cafe du Monde. Beignets are rather like olieballen, but I think I prefer olieballen…
Muffaletta from the Central Grocery. I actually liked this, but it would have gone down more easily without all the hype.
Gumbo from Dooky Chase, whose fearless leader (Leah Chase) was made famous in the UK by Jamie Oliver. The sausage and shrimp were good (and plentiful) but I didn’t see even a smudge of green from any okra, celery or green pepper. Then again, what do I know about gumbo?
Jambalaya with sausage and chicken, which lacked so much in bite and zest that I forgot where I even ate it.
I’m sorry foodies, I feel like I’ve let y’all down on this one. New Orleans had all the right ingredients, but something just didn’t click. Still, onwards to the next meal, eh? Baton Rouge is my next stop!
Till then, I remain yours,