New Orleans Food and Wine Tours
Jazz your soul and enjoy this vibrant city!
New Orleans’ spirit makes it a place quite unlike any other. From its perch at the mouth of the Mississippi, Louisiana’s grandest city has a colourful, often troubled past that it openly wrestles with before your very eyes. But that’s not to say that New Orleans is an uncomfortable place. In fact, the opposite is true; the locals’ attitude to life is full of joy and indulgence, allowing the city to become renowned for its deep-south blend of culture, music and, of course, food. A visit to New Orleans is a visit to the hometown of jazz, so live music is the norm here - not a special event. This provides the perfect backing track for exploring a city steeped in history and significance. Festival season is literally all year round, so you can bounce from street to street and always find something to do.
The cuisine in New Orleans is rich, full of flavour, and served in generous portions, blending innovative techniques with a nod to its French and Spanish roots. Traditional dishes are playful, inventive, and guaranteed to make your eyes bigger than your stomach - just save some room for dessert! New Orleans cuisine owes its foundations to the creoles, the descendants of the first French and Spanish settlers in the region. Long before the area became part of the US, locals started to incorporate the many other cultures that were drawn to the region. Culinary influences can be traced back to the Italians, Cubans, Chinese, Cajuns, Irish and Germans just to name a few.
There are a few specialities that can only be found in New Orleans. Gumbo is one; a creole classic that comes in plenty of varieties, but most agree that this rich stew should be made with okra, chicken, seafood or pork, along with the holy trinity of vegetables, celery, bell peppers, and onions, as the base. Another firm favourite in this part of the world is red beans and rice. Traditionally served on a Monday night, it uses a stock made from leftover pork bones of the night before for flavour, and has become a culinary staple, the closest thing to a foodie institution you’ll find. After all, one of New Orleans most famous sons, Louis Armstrong, was such a fan that he used to sign off his letters with, ‘red beans and ricely yours’.
Being so close to both the Mississippi river and the Gulf of Mexico, freshwater fish and shellfish are all over local menus. The irresistible smell of grilled seafood floats on the wind with jazz music - you just have to follow your nose. The city has become famous for its take on grilled oysters. Freshly caught, these tasty treats are stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, and butter, creating one of the most opulent snacks you can think of.
For those with a sweet tooth, beignets are a must try. These square-shaped fried pastries are similar to doughnuts, and were originally introduced by French immigrants. They are dusted with a fine coating of powdered sugar and best enjoyed fresh out of the oil. This rich, comforting dessert makes use of two ingredients grown all over the southern states, sugarcane and pecans, and is best served with a strong black coffee.