The Multi Cultural Origins of The Crescent City’s Cuisine

front of poor house bistro restaurant

New Orleans cuisine has a rich multicultural history that’s been influenced for hundreds of years. The cities love affair with traditional food unites everyone in this city. The history, influenced by Creola, Cajun and soul food cuisine, has its residents spooning bowls of gumbo on picnic benches in local bistros, with crawfish étouffée and fried oysters on the way.

New Orleans cuisine is some of the most distinct and most recognisable in the United States. It’s history originated from the settlers of Louisiana before it became a part of the US. When later immigrants from Germany, Italy, France and Spain came over to the US, their flavours swirled with the Native Americans and West African tastes to create flavours unique to this little corner of east United States.

The Mississippi River curves and crescents through the modern concrete jungle, entering from the Gulf of Mexico where the Crescent City keeps its seafood secrets. For generations, the mix of saltwater fish, freshwater fish and shellfish made New Orleans world-renowned for its fresh, flavorful seafood and is especially known for fish, shrimp, crab, crawfish and oysters.

Locals would argue that dishes invented in New Orleans include muffuletta sandwiches, oysters Rockefeller, pompano en papillote and bananas Foster among many others. Gumbo has arguably become its own food group, and the taste of Crawfish Etouffee is one of the best reasons to visit New Orleans.

The Big Easy is a city with many food traditions that date back hundreds of years. The famous Creola flavours of Red Beans & Rice, a tradition that unites New Orleans every Mondays, has roots going back at least 100 years. Reporters for the Federal Writers Project in 1938 said “Red beans are to New Orleans, what the white bean is to Boston, and the cowpea is to South Carolina,”.

New Orleans is famous for its Jambalaya originates from the Spanish dish Paella, as they attempted to create their home dish when they arrived in the new world. Tomatoes replaced saffron, and Jambalaya was born.

The many diverse and iconic dishes that make New Orleans famous come from its unique history of Cajun, Creole, Caribbean, Souther French, African & Spanish all combined in a melting pot of flavors and traditions that make the Crescent City a rich historic location for fine tasting cuisine. Combine the best cooks in Europe and Africa, and place them in the Gulf of Mexico with all its fresh and saltwater seafood delights, and that’s how you get the rich flavourful history of New Orleans.