Thursday, February 7, 2013

A great part of the state of Louisiana formed out of sediments from the Mississippi River creating massive deltas and huge coastal areas of swamp and marshland, rich in ibis and egrets, tree frogs, sturgeons and paddlefish. These coastal areas have become a steady and abundant source of fish and other seafood ingredients which sustain the production of sumptuous and exotic dishes in Louisiana. The abundance of great recipes and food on the menus can be overwhelming for some visiting tourists but once tasted, nothing can be ignored or dismissed.

While Louisiana is not the only place to find good food in the world, the traditional Louisiana recipes and cuisine are still hard to beat despite the emergence of new food trends in nearby states. Fortunately, the home-grown cooks and chefs in Louisiana have kept the tradition of great and authentic Louisiana food very much thriving for all generations.

The Unusual and Rare Louisiana Foods

And while Louisiana will not run out of fantastic and mouth-watering dishes so uniquely its own, the more daring and bold food lovers are ready to try something completely different and out of the ordinary. In Louisiana, they are called “unusual foods” as they are not commonly served in most dining venues around the state. But infused with traditional Old World way of cooking introduced by the colonizers to the inhabitants of Louisiana, these unusual foods are definitely worth a try.

Frog Legs

Unusual, but frog legs have been with Louisiana kitchen for many centuries. In fact, a festival known as Rayne Frog Festival is celebrated in Louisiana, honoring the amphibians, in murals and through the famous frog jumping contest. Frog legs are considered to be one of the tastiest foods that the southern Louisiana swamp waters offer. Typically served as buttermilk-buttered and crispy-fried, or as the French Provencal style, foodies enjoy the tenderness and texture similar to that of chicken wings. Louisiana has a true love for frogs as two restaurants are known to specialize on them – Frog City CafĂ© in Rayne and Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans.


Swamplands and marshlands – these are what make up most of Southern Louisiana coastal regions. These swamps and marshlands provide the perfect habitat for alligators. The abundance of alligator must have been one of the reasons why they quickly became part of the daily dining options for many families. Alligators are said to have the same taste as rabbit or chicken. The tail, tenderloin, ribs and other parts are also used to create different dishes such as the Creole stew, alligator Cajun spiced ribs, fried alligator tail, and many more. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival features alligator pie. Visitors can also try the recipe at home if they buy fresh gator from Cajun Grocer.


This is a culinary staple around Lake Charles and Lafayette. It is an authentic Cajun recipe which usually is a blend of rice, cooked pork, peppers, onions and selected seasonings stuffed into a sausage casing. The most common boudin is the white  boudin or Boudin blanc.  Chefs of today’s generations are becoming more experimental as they get creative with the fillings in variations of seafood and alligator.


This may not be that unusual as crawfish is a rather known item in Louisiana culinary heritage and culture. In fact, most of the culinary schools in Louisiana include crawfish in their list of authentic Louisiana ingredient. However, some are not familiar and privy on how to best enjoy a crawfish recipe. A crawfish boil is one delectable way to enjoy this mudbug. Twisting the tail away from the head, the juicy and briny flavors are sucked right out of the head. While others may prefer the more conventional recipe, there are others who would love this extra fun way of enjoying a crawfish meal.

To celebrate the abundance of crawfish in the region, a quintessential Cajun event known as Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is held in this Cajun country. This festival features the million different ways of serving crawfish, cooking demonstrations and crawfish eating contest, accompanied with dancing and live music.


These are also known as Chayote - a plant found in Brazil which has an interesting history in Louisiana. Part of the gourd family, the mirliton or chayote’s fruit, roots and leaves are all edible. While it’s native to Brazil, records showed that it has been growing in New Orleans since 1867. The city is apparently the only North American urban area where the mirliton was cultivated. Mirlitons offer a crisp flavor and are usually lightly cooked. This plant food is packed with Vitamin C and amino acids. Louisiana home cooks have traditionally included mirlitons into dishes for Thanksgiving. The mirliton’s roots added to stews bring about a taste that resembles the taste and texture of potato. Mirilitons are also mixed with sea scallops or served with an alligator menu.

The Regular Louisiana Seafood Treats

While some adventurous Louisiana visitors may have a blast sampling these rare and unusual food treats, others would prefer the old and traditional Louisiana dishes which are more seafood-based since it has the freshest seafood supply in the world. The major supply of blue crab, shrimp, crawfish and oysters come from Louisiana. This abundance is celebrated in various festivals held in Louisiana such as the shrimp and fleet festival in Delcambre on the third weekend of August, or Morgan City’s Shrimp and Petroleum Festival on Labor Day.
But festival or no festival, Louisiana’s seafood treats abound in the numerous restaurants and dining venues all over the state.

About The Author:

Cedric Loiselle is a highly talented writer providing quality articles for a wide range of niches including food and cooking, as well as business and finance.

Image Credits:
David Reber's Hammer Photography

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