In an attempt to get out of my own way and take a mini vacay from my own deadlines and upcoming events, I have decided that blogging about all of that would only prove to keep me in it more. I don’t want to be there right now.
So in honor of Lewis, my buddy who comes to my office every day to run a route for us, I shall explore the wild world of Cajun Cooking! He just married his long time girlfriend who is from Louisiana. He told me of a trip they made to her “homeland” and his experience with the local fare. He was told, “Oh, you HAVE to try a Boodang!” and it looks like a sausage. But it ain’t. Here, my friends, is a boodang!
Boudin: (boo-dang) A Cajun-made sausage of pork and rice and spices. There are different versions of boudin, including sausages made with seafood.
According to Lewis, the filling tastes good, however if you are a northerner and are expecting a “sausage” complete with density and a snap, you will be sorely lacking. The rice mixture makes it a loose filling and there is some work getting through the casing since there isn’t any firmness to work against. So, note to me, try a boudin (boodang) but just cut it open and eat the filling.
Another item that looks interesting to me (thank you Cajun Steamer.com!
) is chicory. I am a coffee FREAK! I love coffee…it is the fuel upon which I navigate. I literally drink coffee through till late in the evening. I am not at total coffee snob (though Starbucks should be ashamed of what they call “coffee”!) and often buy Folgers or whatever. But in Cajun/Creole country, they use a ground herb called chicory and add it to their coffee. Hmmm. It looks like this.
I swear this stuff was growing all over the place in the fields and shoulders of roads where I grew up!
Then you take the root, dry it? Grind it or chop it up? Not really sure on the process, but the root seems to be the thing. You take the chicory once it is prepared and add it to your coffee. According to the Cajuns, it sweetens and mellows out the bitterness of regular coffee. It can also be brewed on its own as an herbal tea. Apparently it has some pretty magical properties!
Here, you will find the roasted variety. Perfect to blend nicely with your favorite Kona!
According to SuttonBaySpices.com
, Laboratory research by Leroux (Europes largest chicory producer) has shown chicory root extracts to be anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and slightly sedative. It also slows and weakens the pulse and lowers the blood sugar. While I have never really understood how the ye olden pioneering types thought about picking a spindly blue flowered sprig, chopping up the root, and using it to put themselves to sleep, I am happy that they did! I am actually interested in trying this stuff.
When you think of exotic food in Louisiana, especially when you are thinking cajun, you start bringing to mind these guys:
I don't think I want to go wrestling around with this guy any time soon....
Or even maybe a plate full of these in some wicked roux full of spices and peppers that nature is even afraid of!
Does he not look like he is the poster-bug for the Nixon administration?!
Well, if you were to travel to the bayou and find these 2 on the menu, it would look something like this:
It's a gator-eat-mudbug world out there!
Tee-hee! Just kidding! While I am sure in the wilds of the swamps these types of deadly games of tag DO happen, but where we humans live and walk about and tout ourselves more civilized individuals, we create places for us to dine on our reptile and crustacean brethren like this:
Gator on a stick and cake of crab. Ooooh-weee, momma! Wonder what they stuff in the funnel cakes?
I’ll be honest. The closest I have come to actual gator eating was to buy a couple of gator sausage meat sticks at a local butcher shop because the tail meat (which is supposed to be the best) was too frigging expensive! I didn’t like it, but really that was due to not being a big fan of sausage.
The crawdad…yeah. A chinese buffet close to me had them on the bar one night. I thought, ok. I am going to try one of these things. It is on the buffet, I will just take one…I will be ok. In the end, its fossilized red little buggy face staring at me all pitiful and I couldn’t even touch it. I am such a girl! Maybe one day I will come across one that is all shelled and I won’t have to look at it and I will try it. Until then, I am good, tyvm.
The next deep south traditional fare is one I can not only jump on board with readily, it is practically a religion for me!
What lovely little shrimpies you are...I think I will shove you in bread and call you 'my very own'!
Yes sir, the Po’ Boy! Per Cajun Steamer, the definition for po’ boy is: “Any sandwich served on French bread and usually served dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Po’ Boys are made with everything from fried shrimp, oysters, crawfish and catfish to roast beef or other lunch meats.” So….it’s a sandwich….
I get that maybe once upon a time the poor bayou folk used day old bread or something to hold their shrimp or catfish or whatever for a portable meal. But around the world (or at least my little part of it) a meat, cheese, and veggie party on french bread is a sub sandwich. It kind of seems like the term “Po’ Boy” is sort of the south’s blanket term for sandwich as Crayola is to crayons or Kleenex is to tissues, etc. Cliche or not, ^this^up^here^ looks REEEEAAAALLLLY good!
Deciding to up the ante a bit, I chose to google “exotic Cajun food” and found website, Allen’s Bayou
, and found he had a whole selection of exotic meats! You can get iguana, ostrich, CROCODILE, frog legs, and turtle! I should also tell you that you can get Deadpool, Thing, and Bat Man comic’s from Allen as well. Good to know, Allen!
Ah, Bayou Butcher Man, so we "meat" again!?!
This all has only inspired me more to want to travel to the deep south, get my cajun groove on, dig on some zydeco…I LOVE zydeco! Here’s to wishing! Let the good times roll, y’all!