Culinary Backstreets New Orleans
On this 51/2-hour food tour of Treme, the French Quarter, and beyond, participants will visit neighborhood restaurants, food shops, and much more to discover the roots of Creole cuisine and meet the people in the city’s kitchens who are upholding its traditions, by the spoonful. New Orleans, with its vivid culture, complex mix of communities, unique history, and elevated cuisine, defies comparison on the North American continent, if not planet Earth. In population, it is a city the size of Wichita; culturally, it has a footprint of Roman imperial proportions.
And that culture, so rich and distinct — a mix of African and French, with flashes of Haitian, Native American, German and Spanish influences — can best be described as “Creole,” a flexible term that has come to mean many things over New Orleans’s lengthy history. But Creole has always meant someone or something native to Louisiana, a product of its unique cultural mix, of this utterly original place. On this 51/2-hour tour, we’ll search New Orleans’s and Creole culture’s tangled roots, using the city’s incomparable cuisine as our guide and its historic neighborhoods in and around the French Quarter and Treme as our stage.
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Culinary Backstreets New Orleans
The tour will begin in the city’s oldest food marketplace with coffee and a praline-stuffed beignet, the “cronut” of New Orleans, as all dig into the historical context of New Orleans’s creole identity. According to the season, you may have a freshly-shucked gulf oyster or a link of boudin before having a wedge of the Italian-Creole classic sandwich, the muffuletta. Up and down scenic streets lined with great examples of native architecture and Creole cottages, their feast continues in the Treme neighborhood with a stop at a local grocery for a quick fix of a locally-beloved grab-and-go street snack followed by a top spot for yakamein, a New Orleans-style ramen.
If it’s Friday, you will stop by the home of a local resident-cum-chef for freshly fried fish, followed by a cup of seasonal gumbo at a neighborhood institution. You will also pop into a corner grocery run by a family with Sicilian heritage who also operated a recording studio upstairs where some of the greats of the 1950’s Rock n Roll and RnB, like Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Ray Charles, cut singles. Finally, a visit to an artisanal sausage maker with Creole heritage is housed in a historic shop destroyed in Hurricane Katrina but rebuilt against all odds. Here we’ll meet the 4th-generation sausage maker himself and sample his iconic hot sausage po’boy.
Along the way, you will stop by neighborhood monuments and meet community members who bring this Creole city’s rich history to life through their cooking. Depending on the season, there will be something sweet at the end, be it a homemade praline or a refreshing sno-ball. And this being New Orleans, ever unpredictable, the tour may finish with a street parade or a torrential downpour. Fortunately, there’s always a corner bar to duck into in this city to digest the day’s experience.
- The fee includes everything consumed on the Culinary Backstreets New Orleans walk.
- Samples of fish and seafood, Pescatarian-friendly
- Visits residential neighborhoods
- Children are also welcome
- Stroller Friendly
- Not suitable for vegans, vegetarians, or gluten-free diets
- 100% will be refunded if given one week’s notice before the walk, and 50% will be refunded if given 72 hours notice or more
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