Cultural Diversity Influences Port Orleans’ Cuisine!

“The meal was nothing short of an explosion of color and flavor. The sensation it left in my mouth will be one that I will savor forever.” These words, spoken by noted artist Marcello Christobal Aguillar and printed in newspapers across Europe, piqued an interest in the cultural diversity that was flourishing in Port Orleans. Aguillar had visited the picturesque city during a tour of America. He had expected to find a quaint little community of tree-lined avenues dotted with pretty little houses. What he found was a thriving city with its own distinct culture and a most unique cuisine that had developed through the various immigrants that had settled the delta.

What Aguillar and others that would follow experienced was Creole cuisine, a combination of several distinct cultural tastes. It was a creation of necessity. Due to the geographical location and its changing nationality, Port Orleans had become a diverse cosmopolitan city. Many traders from various countries had made the Port home. They brought with them different tastes and recipes that were freely exchanged. Over the years these recipes had melded together to form the exciting cuisine which Aguillar discovered and announced to the rest of the world.

The cuisine was made up of various ingredients and cooking techniques. The native Indians introduced the first settlers to the shellfish and the produce that thrives abundantly near the river delta. The French provided the techniques of cooking with sauces and stocks, the Spanish and Native Americans provided the spices that added a special zest to the flavor and the African Americans perfected the method of slow cooking to enhance richness. Together they formed a flavorful array of dishes and recipes that found their way into even the finest restaurants. Cooking schools soon opened and the Creole technique was soon attracting young chefs from across Europe.

The rich gumbos and seafood dishes that emerged from such a cultural mixing were succulent and aromatic. It was not long before Port Orleans became a regular stop for connoiseurs of good eating everywhere, and Creole cuisine found a special place in the world of fine dining.

Markets Feature Sassagoula’s Bounty!

Crawfish, ochre, datil peppers, onion, garlic, wild rice and the most delicious assortment of vegetables available were the common stock of every kitchen in Port Orleans. The Sassagoula delta came to be known as one of the richest growing regions anywhere, and the city’s markets were always filled with the rich variety of food that made Port Orleans’ cuisine legendary.

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