Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Louisiana Food

In his last comment, LP mentioned andouille. That's another thing that is pretty foreign in my corner of the northeast/midwest. Like he said it is a smoked sausage, and the closest thing I can think of that it is similar to is kielbasa (boy, that is a horrbile sentence). Actually, it might be closer to ring balogna, if that was smoked and spiced. The first time I had it in jambalya, I actually thought it was kielbasa, but the texture is a little different, and the spices are also different. Unless you get some homemade varieties from little stores in little towns, it isn't overly spiced (as in hot). It really is quite tasty. And there is a festival celebrating it in LaPlace.

That is one of the things I've learned since moving here. Up north, we generally think of Cajun and Creole as being burn-your-mouth spicy. It really isn't. It does have a bit more of a kick than, say, German food. But really, if it is done well, the spice just brings out the natural flavor of the food rather than masking it. That's not to say I haven't had a few jambalyas and gumbos where all I can taste is the hot, and I've been to a few crawfish boils where I couldn't taste the crawfish because of the boiling mix. But if it is done well, you taste the hot, but you also taste the andouille, and the duck, and the turkey, and whatever else is in the jambalya or gumbo. For peasant dishes, they really are sublime if done well.

If I make the pilgrimage north next year, perhaps I'll bring some Louisiana food with me. Y'all will be surprised at how good it is (darlin').

1 comment:

LutherPunk said...

Spice is all about pleasure and enhancing the natural taste of the food. You get a bead or two of sweat from some good boil, but there are some people who see the food as the vehicle for the pepper, which is just messed up. My feeling is that if it isn't hot enough the way it is cooked, throw some Tabasco in there.

There is a well known "Cajun" place in Atlanta that I have been to that is awful for just that reason. They make average food and put too much pepper in it to disguise this fact. I'd rather just stay home and cook!

Now the real debate about cajun food is what actually constitutes a good gumbo!