The word “étouffée” comes from the French verb ‘to smother,’ which describes the cooking process of this unique New Orleans dish. A thick stew somewhat similar to gumbo, this dish is characterized by crawfish, crabmeat or shrimp and usually served over rice.
Not simply doughnuts-minus-the-hole, beignets were introduced to New Orleans in the 18th century by French-Creole colonists. Based on a simple concept — fried dough coated with powdered sugar — beignets are popular for breakfast, dessert and as a late-night snack.
The king cake, which takes its name from the biblical Three Kings, is perhaps one of the most recognizable symbols associated with Mardi Gras traditions. King Cake is eaten at any point between the Twelfth Night and Fat Tuesday, and is usually a brioche-style bread topped with sugar and icing in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold and green.
- King cake by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel
Also of interest: Cobblers, Crumbles and Crisps, Oh My!