Every day is a party in New Orleans, but Mardi Gras and the Jazz and Heritage festival are probably the two biggest parties of the year, with great music, and top-notch food and drink. For this year’s Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras) in New Orleans, there are many food traditions, but a few should not be missed. Whether you are heading down to Mardi Gras in New Orleans or making a feast at home, check out some of the top traditional foods.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the feast day before Ash Wednesday and the Lenten period, so it is the last day to eat, drink, and be merry before giving something up, says the Inquisitr. Some of the traditional foods associated with Mardi Gras are king cake, red beans and rice, crawfish, and, of course, gumbo. And if you are able to get down to Louisiana for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you will find a variety of street foods to eat on the go, like a shrimp or sausage Po Boy, because it’s always best to have something substantial in your stomach before the drinking starts.
Bravo TV suggests its four favorite foods for Mardi Gras New Orleans or Fat Tuesday at home. Bravo explains that Mardi Gras is the perfect day to let loose.
“Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday,’ also known as Shrove Tuesday, a day in the Catholic religion when you’re meant to indulge yourself (hence the ‘fat’ portion of the name) before fasting for the next 40 days during Lent. So it’s actually OK to eat, drink, and go wild for a night.”
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Bravo’s big four food choices to do Mardi Gras New Orleans-style are King Cake, jambalaya, crawfish, or your favorite creole cuisine, like etouffee. For the uninitiated, king cake is a sweet, dense egg dough that, according to Bravo, “may look like a four-year-old’s art project,” but is tasty, awesome, and dyed in the four traditional Mardi Gras colors (purple, green, and yellow). King Cake is required at your Mardi Gras party to serve a particular purpose.
“A small plastic toy in the shape of a baby, representing baby Jesus, is baked into the cake, and whoever finds the baby in their slice is said to have good luck. Though it’s also said that the lucky finder is obligated to throw the next year’s Mardi Gras party and provide the King Cake, so maybe it’s not such a good deal after all.”
And though for Mardi Gras in New Orleans the right food is key, so are the right drinks, according to the Boston Herald. Boston bartender Palmer Matthews says there are a few quintessential cocktails to step up your cocktail game.
“Mardi Gras is one of the high holidays of the American cocktail calendar.”
These include traditional Sazeracs, Hurricanes, made popular at New Orleans bar, Pat O’ Brien’s, Herbsaint frappes, and other Southern-inspired cocktails that pack a punch.
The Huffington Post suggests some Mardi Gras New Orleans favorites for your at-home Fat Tuesday banquet that will have your guests coming back year after year, including the recipes that will help you get started. They start with a popular mainstay, which is slow cooker jambalaya, followed by the traditional NOLA doughnut to have with your cafe au lait, beignets, covered with lots of powdered sugar. Want to try a pasta entree? Try some creamy crawfish fettuccine.
Whether you do Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Mardi Gras at home, have fun and be safe.
What is your favorite Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Mardi Gras at-home food or drink?
[Featured Image by Sean Gardner/Getty Images]