When planning your trip to New Orleans, you are surely going to think about all the delicious food available.
Prior to your New Orleans travel, if you acquaint yourself with the types of New Orleans food, you may enjoy them even more.
Give some thought to what you are eating before you order.
Andouille (ahn DO ee) - A spicy smoked sausage, usually comprised mainly of pork, most often used to flavor gumbo.
Beignet (ben YAY) - Sweet, square-shaped doughnuts, minus the hole, sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Boudin (BOO dan) – Traditionally a Cajun “blood sausage” – made with congealed pig blood. But, more modern variations include pork pieces mixed with onions, cooked rice, herbs, and stuffed in sausage casing.
Crawfish Bisque (bisk) - A rich, roux-based soup, filled with crawfish heads stuffed with savory dressing. Bisque is served either with or over white rice.
Cayenne (KI yan) - A hot pepper that is dried, ground, and used to season many Cajun dishes. Use sparingly.
Chicory (chick-ory) - An herb whose roots are dried, ground, and roasted; used to flavor coffee. Very popular in “New Orleans” flavored coffee.
Cochon de lait (koh SHON duh lay) – Often an event – a whole day-long “pig roast” where the whole hog slowly roasted over an open flame.
Cracklins (crack-lens) - Strips of pork skin, including pieces of meat and fat, fried to a crisp.
Crawfish (craw fish) - Sometimes spelled "crayfish" but always pronounced crawfish. Resembling tiny lobsters they are served in a variety of ways, including boiled, fried, and in etouffée.
Dressed – Used when referring to a sandwich or Po-Boy this means adding mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes. “Hon, you want that dressed?”
Etouffée (eh too fay) – A food that is generally referring to smothered meat or seafood, cooked with a roux and onions, celery, and bell pepper. Generally this dish is served over rice.
File’ (FEE lay) - Ground sassafras leaves, added at the end of cooking, used to season and thicken, among other things, gumbo. Introduced to the French by local Indian tribes.
Grillades (GREE yads) – Medallions (or other strips) of broiled beef or veal. Grillades and grits is a popular breakfast, especially in New Orleans.
Gumbo (gum-bow) - A delicacy of South Louisiana. It can be seafood or chicken and sausage. Basically, it includes wild game or seafood, thickened with okra, file, and roux. This is a thick, robust soup.
Jambalaya (jam buh Lie yuh) - A hearty dish of South Louisiana origin featuring a choice of meats (ham, sausage, shrimp, chicken, tasso), cooked with Trinity, tomato, and rice.
Mirliton (MEL e taun) - A hard-shelled vegetable pear. It is cooked like squash and stuffed with either ham or shrimp and spicy dressing or smothered, like cabbage, also ham or shrimp. It is native to Mexico where it is called Chayote squash.
Maque Choux (mock shoo) - Corn stewed down with tomato, peppers, caramelized onion, and spices. Meat or seafood may be added to serve as the main dish.
Muffuletta (moof o LOT ta) - This huge sandwich is made up of thick layers of several different types of Italian meats, cheeses, and a layer of olive salad. Served on special, seeded Muffuletta bread (but French bread will do).
Praline (PRAW leen) - Smooth, creamy candy made of sugar and butter, with pecans or other nuts mixed in for crunch.
Po'Boy (po boy) - A New Orleans-style sandwich (fried oysters, roast beef and gravy, shrimp or soft-shell crab) served on crispy-crusted loaf bread (French bread).
Red Beans & Rice – Kidney and other beans cooked in seasonings and spices, usually with chunks of sausage and ham, and served over a bed of rice. Some like ketchup on theirs.
Remoulade (ROW moo lad) - A cold mayonnaise based dressing made with Creole mustard, chopped green onions, paprika and any combination of spices, served on chilled, boiled seafood.
Roux (rue) - Flour cooked in oil until it is brown with a nut-like flavor and aroma. Used as a thickening, coloring, flavoring base for foods like gumbos, gravies, sauces, and soups. May be light-gold (for fish and other delicate ingredients) to very dark for hearty dishes.
Sauce Piquant (PEE kant or pee CAHNT) - A hot, thick, reddish gravy made with roux and tomatoes, combined with alligator, chicken, pork, sausage, game or tasso, highly seasoned with herbs and peppers, and simmered for hours. Served over rice.
Tasso (TASS o) - A small strip of smoked, seasoned pork or beef. Similar in look and substance to beef jerky, but used to flavor gumbo, jambalaya, beans, etc. Sometimes, it is thinly sliced and simmered in a sauce for rice or pasta.
Yam - A sweet-potato-like, orange-colored vegetable. Butter, cinnamon, and sugar are popular toppings.