These classic Mardi Gras food and drink recipes are great for big and small celebrations. This collection of New Orleans cuisine includes everything from breakfast fare to Cajun appetizers, gumbos, po’ boys and étouffées, spirited cocktails and Mardi Gras desserts. New Orleans dishes are what you want for your Mardi Gras party.
Where did New Orleans cuisine originate from
New Orleans cuisine is steeped in a rich heritage of Creole and Cajun cooking that takes cues from a melting pot of European, Caribbean, African and Native American influences.
Culinary customs, methods and techniques from Spain, Italy and France, Germany, Africa, Latin America and the West Indies as well as traditions closer to home, converge to make the cuisine from New Orleans truly a worldly experience.
With so many amazing food cultures coming together in one place it’s no wonder that Louisiana cuisine, from humble to haute, is considered an epicurean powerhouse.
What is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras (literally Fat Tuesday in French) marks the Carnival celebration period extending from the Feast of the Epiphany to its culmination on Shrove Tuesday.
Traditionally, Mardi Gras is the last day of feasting and revelry before Lent, a traditional time of Christian penitence.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans
No other city in America treats Mardi Gras with the same exuberance and abundance as New Orleans. It’s not a one-day affair, but a month long lead up to the big day with parades, beads, masks, costumes, imbibing and FOOD.
Mardi gras food runs the gambit from traditional King Cake and Gumbo to to soft, sugar coated beignets and sweet, high alcohol Hurricanes. Whether you’re celebrating in the Crescent City or not, paying homage with some of those classic recipes is a fun and delicious way to mark the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lent.
Spending time in the Crescent City
Personally, New Orleans is one of my absolute favorite vacation destinations.
I love the attitude of the residents, the slow drawl of a Cajun dialect and the sites and sounds which are a feast for the senses.
From the grand estates that line the Garden District to the debauchery of Bourbon Street, the fantastic shopping along Magazine Street and the food, food, food, that’s taken so seriously even the hole in the wall joints have an Instagram following.
And lest you think it’s all heavy, fried, or sauced food, I discovered my favorite salsa recipe at a low-key Mexican restaurant that we ducked into to get out of the rain. Not exactly Mardi gras food, but it’s good!