Eat, Drink and Be Mardi Gras Merry: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

The parades, good times are rolling state, city and parish wide.  The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50, and we are proudly celebrating the team and our Peyton Manning on this Lundi Gras.  I can’t think of a better reason or season to laissez les bons temps rouler. Laissez les bons temps rouler (pronounced “Lay-say le bon tom roo-lay”) is the term most associated with Louisiana, Mardi Gras and our basic approach to life. Those celebrating Louisianians in their Carnival glory and their Gulf Coast neighbors know how to laissez les bons temps rouler.  We have a zest for life, a taste for tradition, and a food for every festival and celebration.

shaya red beans riceEmily’s Red Beans and Rice Recipe ~ Southern Living

Our culinary melting pot spans the entire state.  Courir de Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday Run, is the traditional way of Mardi Gras in many rural parishes of Louisiana.  A company of merry masked and costumed hunters gather en masse on horseback, foot and flatbed combing parish country roads for essential ingredients for a community gumbo.

Courir de Mardi Grasflickr

 ♫ Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo ♫

Rooted in tradition dating back to medieval France, the fête de la quémande or feast of begging is part tradition, part necessity and part recipe revelry.  Begging townsfolk and voisins (neighbors) for gotta have it gumbo ingredients is a quaint, odd and beloved Courir de Mardi Gras custom- one where history meets heritage.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Beginning with the Feast of the Epiphany and ending with the culmination of the Mardi Gras season , sweet home Louisiana is the place of cakes and Kings.

muffuletta-sammies-SQUAREv2Muffuletta Sammies ~ Central Grocery & Deli New Orleans, Louisiana

You say muff-uh-LOT-uh, and I say moo-foo-LET-ta, but everyone who has tasted a muffuletta says delicious.  Staying true to traditional form, no visit to New Orleans is complete without stopping in at Central Grocery for a muffuletta.  I call the muffuletta the Earl of Sicilian sandwiches.  The origin of the muffuletta dates back to 1906 when Salvatore Lupo, the original owner of Central Grocery, introduced New Orleans to the muffuletta.

573px-Muffaletta_At_Central_Grocery,_New_OrleansMuffuletta At Central Grocery, New Orleans

Other Crescent City eateries take a turn at the muffuletta and with great and tasty success, but we always come back to the original and here’s why: a soft, chewy, unforgettable, divine (yes, divine) sesame seed topped bread housing layers of mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham and provolone. Hungry yet?  It gets better.

The crowning jewel of flavor, the signature super-secret recipe Central Grocery olive salad, is without a doubt the best olive salad known to the foodie palate.  Grab an ice-cold Barq’s Root Beer and experience a taste of New Orleans the way the locals do.

King-Cake-scones

A King Cake is a sweet traditional cinnamon filled coffee cake style pastry glazed with topping and sprinkled with sugar in the Royal colors of purple, green, and gold.  A taste of Mardi Gras tradition rolls on with a brunch favorite, King Cake scones.  The recipe is from Louisiana Cookin’. Here is the link to the recipe and King Cake goodness. King Cake Scones

682px-Krewe_of_Eve_Mask_FaceKrewe of Eve

I’m hanging out the gone celebrating sign and heading out to eat, drink and be Mardi Gras merry in laissez les bons temps rouler style.

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