I thought it would be a great idea to focus on a few of the more popular festivals which are exclusive to Louisiana... not only in the Shreveport, New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas, but especially in the southern part of Louisiana in a region known as Acadiana.
There are festivals in Louisiana for just about anything which swims, grows in or on the ground, and up in the trees. Take your pick: shrimp festival, oyster festival, catfish festival, rice festival, yam festival, sugar cane festival, peach festival... the list goes on and on.
So, I thought to concentrate my efforts at bringing to life the rich culture and history, along with the delicious foods, surrounding each festival.
Will you please join me as I explore the world of Louisiana festivals and please feel free to share my experiences with friends. I will do my best to keep you up-to-date on upcoming events, including information and tips on how to make the most of your stay should you decide to attend or participate.
I would like to invite anyone in the surrounding area of each festival to share their favorite foods and recipes with our readers so that others can experience the uniqueness and "joie de vivre" of southern living... especially in south Louisiana. Thank you. J. Gaspard
Andouille Festival - October 16 -18, 2015
|Direction to Andouille Festival|
Our first stop in the Parade of Louisiana Festivals lineup is LaPlace, LA. to celebrate the annual Andouille [sausage] Festival. This is where it all began back in 1972.
LaPlace is a small southern town with a rich history. It is located in St. John the Baptist Parish, LA. about 25 miles (40 km) west of New Orleans and 55 miles (89 km) southeast of Baton Rouge, LA.
Andouille sausage has a rich and savory smoked flavor which accents and compliments a variety of southern Louisiana cuisine, including gumbos, jambalaya, and rice & gravies.
If you are planning to attend this year's festivities here is a link which can help you find your way around. It list the activities and time schedules of events as well as a list of recommendations in the area to make your stay more enjoyable. Check it out: Andouille Festival
Want to make your own Andouille sausage? You will find a plethora of 'how to make andouille sausage' recipes on the NET, but the one I recommend is from Nola Cuisine. Here is the link: andouille sausage recipe. If you need to order supplies for your sausage making project, such as casings, seasonings, etc., then please scroll all the way down on the left side of this blog and you will find a link for Ask The Meatman. They can supply you with most of your needs.
I discovered a YouTube video of last year's Andouille Festival for you to view.
Until next time... Enjoy!
International Rice Festival - October 16 -18, 2015
Our next stop in the Parade of Louisiana Festivals lineup is Crowley, Louisiana -- home of the International Rice Festival. I have fond memories from attending this annual celebration because it was local for me and I was part of it. Most of my family were rice farmers and operated in the area. I lived only about ten miles southeast of the event in a small village settlement called Indian Bayou. It was rare for me to miss out on the annual festivities.
Crowley, Louisiana is truly a rice town and also the hometown of the popular former Governor of Louisiana, Edwin W. Edwards. When I was a teenager and working on my grandfather's rice farm, I made several trips there [at the mills] and delivered hundreds of tons of harvested rice in large trucks there. Those were the good ole days.
The population of Crowley, LA. is holding steady around 13,000. Although there has been a slight decline in population over the last several years, it has not in any way diminish the ''Joie de Vive' experience you will feel when you attend. It is situated about 30 minutes west from Lafayette, La. along the I-10 corridor, and approximately 52 miles (85 km) east of Lake Charles, La. along the same Interstate highway.
Cajun Dirty Rice (Rice Dressing)
Cajun Dirty Rice (Rice Dressing) is not dirty at all as you will discover once you make some.This meal is so easy to prepare and the taste is absolutely delicious.
1 1/2 lbs. ground meat (half pork and half beef)
2 Tbs. oil*
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup green onion tops, chopped
a few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
(1) 10.5 oz can of Campbell's beef broth
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
1 package beefy onion soup mix
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the ground meats. Add onions, bell pepper and celery (optional) and cook until tender. Next, add 1 can of Campbell's beef broth, the package of beefy onion soup mix and seasonings. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Finally, add the meat mixture and chopped green onions to the cooked rice; stir and mix well.
This simple dish can become an entire meal in itself. Enjoy!
I found a YouTube video of last year's International Rice Festival so you can get an idea of what's going on. Until next time! Bon jour!