Day 1: Tampa, FL --> New Orleans, LA
"Aimee's Bayou Crash Course."First of all (for all of my Northern/International readers) if I'm going to talk about New Orleans, I need to clarify something. Hailing from the balmy Attleboro, Massachusetts, I might call this "New Ore-leens" because I've spent some time on the Cape, and I know how they pronounce Orleans there. However, if there's one thing I teach you today, is the proper pronunciation of the city. Norlins. That's right: Norlins. You should also know that NOLA stands for New Orleans LouisiAna. Now that you've graduated my basic bayou course, let's move on.
Other Cajun words you should know:
1. Gumbo: "Creole gumbo generally contains shellfish, tomatoes, and a thickener. Cajun gumbo is generally based on a dark roux and is spicier, with either shellfish or fowl. Sausage or ham can be added to a gumbo made with either fowl or shellfish. After the base is prepared, vegetables are cooked down, and then meat is added. The dish boils for a minimum of three hours, with shellfish and some spices added near the end. After the pot is removed from heat, filé powder can be added. Gumbo is traditionally served over rice." (source)
2. Jumbalaya: "Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It is also a close cousin to the saffron colored paella found in Spanish culture." (source)
3. Boudins & Cracklins: Crawfish and fried pig skins.
Rachel and I decided to make N'Orleans our first stop over on our way to Austin, Texas to visit my family. The Tampa to New Orleans car driving trip took less time than we had anticipated and we actually arrived at about 4 PM with plenty of daylight to explore. So we left the hotel for a walkng tour before dinner. Just walking along Royale St and Bourbon St provided a glimpse into the "nightlife" and culture of New Orleans: from VooDoo, Mardi Gras and Jazz filled gift shops, to the beads hanging from the cast iron ornate balcony railings over the street.