I recently spent some time exploring a few cities in Southwest and Southeast Louisiana as part of a project with the Louisiana Tourism Promotion Association and Louisiana’s Culinary Trails program. The goal was for me to discover some of the regional foods that in large part define the traditions and cultures of this colorful part of the state. Along the way I ate a lot, from the very traditional to new and innovative renditions of old homey classics. I learned that there’s a lot more to cities like Lake Charles, Lafayette and Baton Rouge than just gumbo and boudin; that the food history is rich just as is the need for constant culinary evolution. Of everything I ate, I thought I’d share a few of the more drool-worthy morsels as this week’s photo series. Just make sure you’ve eaten first!
Cracklins – Pork fat with skin that’s fried to within an inch of its life and then salted, these treats are delicious and as I discovered, somewhat addictive. B&O Kitchen & Grocery, Sulphur, LA.
The Perfect Glazed Donut – A well-made yeast donut should have a light ring around the middle and never jostled after glazing. Delicious Donuts & Bakery, Lake Charles, LA
Sweet potato chips with parsley – Restaurant Calla in Lake Charles is an innovative restaurant serving up a unique style of Louisiana tapas or small plates.
Nutella “Scrap” – Available only on Sundays, these croissant-muffin hybrids are baked using dough scraps from pastries made earlier in the week. The Lab Handcrafted Coffee & Comforts, Lafayette, LA.
Sweet Baby Breesus – Made using three buttermilk biscuit sliders with bacon, fried boudin balls and Steen’s cane syrup. When served with cheddar grits, not only is it delicious, but it’s a great rendition of local ingredients and traditional tastes, just in a different way. The French Press, Lafayette, LA.
Donut Burger – Beef patty sandwiched between a sliced donut with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, mayo, and mustard. Cotten’s Downtown, Lake Charles, LA.
Boudin Egg and Cheese Sandwich – Served on donut bread with homemade boudin, oozing fried egg over easy, rich cheddar cheese and a dollop of maple glaze. Tiger Deaux-nuts, Baton Rouge, LA.
Pastrami Sandwiches – Housemade pastrami with Emanthaler and Mornay. City Pork Brasserie & Bar, Baton Rouge, LA.
Beignet Fingers – Thin strips of beignet dough, fried and doused with powdered sugar. Coffee Call, Baton Rouge, LA.