Martin’s All-American Road Trip; Stop #7 – New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is a very unique city with a distinct culture and cuisine. The city was founded in 1718 by French colonists, and has been owned by both the French and Spanish at various times throughout its history, prior to being acquired by the U.S. through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
This active history blesses New Orleans with a creative blend of cultures and traditions. This mixture forms the “Creole” culture which is recognized as a mixture of French, Spanish, African and Native American influences.
The term “Creole,” along with “Cajun,” is also used to describe the cuisine style of New Orleans. Together, these styles bring hearty dishes such as jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo, and po’boys. These styles of cooking are usually well-seasoned and often contain ingredients like rice, sausage, and seafood such as crawfish or shrimp.
Cajun Chicken Salad
This recipe adds popular creole ingredients like Andouille sausage, onions, celery, sundried tomatoes, and seasoning, to minced chicken to create a dish full of flavor!
Grilled Shrimp PoBoy with Cajun Aioli
If you read our blog post back on May 4, you learned that the term “Po’Boy,” which is short for “poor boy” originated in New Orleans around 1930. Po’Boy sandwiches are often made with seafood, such as the shrimp shown in this recipe, and served on French bread loaves (or Martin’s Hoagie or Long Rolls).
Muffulettas are another iconic New Orleans dish typically made with sesame bread, olive salad, and a variety of meats and cheeses. Here, we’ve recreated it on Martin’s Party Potato Rolls, which make it a perfect appetizer or snack to share with your friends and family during your next Carnival or Mardi Gras party!
Oftentimes, when someone thinks about New Orleans, some of the first images to come to mind are those of Mardi Gras festivities – parades, masks, and colorful beads and decorations! But where did this tradition come from and what does it represent?
Mardi Gras occurs each year on the day before Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent). It translates to “Fat Tuesday” and represents the finale of the period of “Carnival” which begins on January 6 (the twelfth night of Christmas/Epiphany). Carnival literally means “farewell to flesh” and characterizes a brief celebration prior to the more austere season of Lent, which often includes prayer and fasting.
The origins of these celebrations can be traced back to medieval Europe and now have deep roots in the culture of New Orleans due to its ancestry. Over time, the celebrations of this season developed into the extravagant masked balls and parades that we recognize today as an important part of New Orleans’ history. These events are often associated with large floats, costumes, and the colors purple, green, and gold, (which symbolize justice, faith, and power, respectively.)
While Mardi Gras may have already passed this year, you can still experience it by visiting Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. Here, you can learn about the history and traditions of Mardi Gras and get a behind-the-scenes look at some elaborate parade floats from Blaine Kern Studios.
New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz! Jazz music is a unique blend of many different cultures, come together to make an original sound that cannot be fully classified. This is unsurprising when looking at how unique New Orleans’ culture is in all other aspects as well. A combination of African American drums and European horns, with emphasis on syncopation and improvisation, jazz music is a collective voice that is very easily recognized. Over the years, jazz music has seen many different styles, from “rag time,” to “big band,” to “bebop,” but the traditional, New Orleans Jazz is often called “Dixieland.”
Show appreciation for one of America’s original art forms by tuning in to hear some Jazz music on your trip to New Orleans! Check out a list of Jazz Clubs in the area at http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/music/jazzclubs.html.
There are many exciting things to do here in New Orleans on your visit! For some family fun, you can see some awe-inspiring acts at the circus on June 18-21 with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Legends. To get a better taste of New Orleans’ creole cuisine, check out the Creole Tomato Festival on June 13-14. There will be live music, food, cooking demonstrations, and a parade! If you really love music and dance, you can head to the 2015 New Orleans Tango Festival on June 18-21.
Don’t forget – Father’s Day is coming up next week! Treat your dad to a fun experience with a swamp tour or steamboat cruise, or head to the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, or Butterfly Garden & Insectarium! Find more fun events at http://www.neworleanscvb.com/calendar-events.
Another reason you should visit New Orleans? Martin’s Potato Rolls! Martin’s entered this new market just under a year ago and we are excited to begin sharing our products with the unique foodie community here! To help spread the word, we recently participated in a fun event in the area!
May 21st – 23rd Martin’s had the opportunity to participate in the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. Through a series of foodie events throughout the weekend, this festival highlights some of the best wineries and restaurants both local to New Orleans and abroad. Pictured above is the Martin’s crew standing behind our booth at the Grand Tasting. Having just launched the New Orleans market back in October, we saw this festival as a great opportunity to educate New Orleans consumers about our products! What they say about Southern hospitality is definitely true, we were welcomed with open arms!
For more information on the event be sure to check out their website: http://www.nowfe.com/
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