Friday, September 12, 2008
For those of you who are totally ignorant: New Orleans is a great, great food city. New Orleans may not boast the sheer number of restaurants that places like San Francisco and New York City do, but it makes up for it with style: New Orleans has its own distinct cuisine that just so happens to be among the most delicious in the world. Utilizing a knock out combination of cooking styles - ranging from Cajun to Creole to French to African to Italian to soul food and so much more - NOLA'S cuisine is the USA's finest indigenous cooking style.
Rich as sin but purely satisfying, New Orleans cuisine isn't much concerned with notions of low-calorie or all-natural or delicate-nibbles. It thrives on the elemental flavors, the ones that get deep down into the human lizard brain: fat and butter, cheese and cream, meat and lobster, chili spice and decadent sweetness. Although many contemprary chefs have created excellent riffs on classic rich Creole cuisine, New Orleans food has retained a refreshing authenticity to its original spirit.
And authentic it is: good food in New Orleans can be found at the grungy gas station in the ghetto or at the revered Creole dining rooms of the French quarter. You can spend very little or you can spend a hell of a lot, and you'll still find yourself a very excellent meal. Fried oysters and white bread from the dive oyster bar coexist with John Besh's decadent oyster preparations at August: both stem from the same cultural origins and the same love of fresh and unashamed cuisine. New Orleans peo
People in New Orleans care about food, in the single-minded and rabid way citizens of all great food cities do. Screaming arguments can be easily begun over here by disagreements over the towns best gumbo, po-boy, or BBQ shrimp, and you better believe everyone has an opinion. This is a town devoted to edibles and that is a large part of why I've decided to move here - it's one of the Big American Food Cities.
Anyways, my posts from here on out will involve a whole lot of New Orleans eating.....(I'm going back to August this weekend since I am a little snot.) I'm hoping to get a grasp on what makes this city tick one way or another, and a big part of that involves delicious food. I do live a life of travail and injustice.
(It is currently tropical storming over here as we catch a smack or two of Ike, which I am not loving so much, although it's a bit of a change from Sacramento's non-existent weather. And hey, at least I'm not cold anymore.)