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A British Reporter’s New Orleans Food Tour

Sometimes it’s fascinating to read a foreigner’s take on the city of New Orleans, its food and its culture. Mary Hart of the Telegraph in London gives an account of her recent trip to the Crescent City and its environs and her “search” for her son who’s a student at Tulane University.

A British Reporter’s New Orleans Food Tour

English: Lazy Afternoon in French Quarter - Ne...

A Lazy Afternoon in French Quarter – New Orleans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There a few inaccuracies in her article, like Brad Pitt buying land in the French Quarter to build homes for people who lost theirs during after Katrina.

I had to laugh at that.

In reality these homes were built in the flooded Lower Ninth Ward and as far as I know Pitt didn’t buy the land on which the homes currently sit.

And, there is no vacant land to build anything on in the Quarter.

Also, she calls Morgan City “Morgan” which sounds strange to our ears.

Besides all that she really does a great job at capturing the essence of the city and would be a perfect guide for anyone coming here who wants to do their own food tour.

In her article from the Telegraph she states:

The Café du Monde is the city’s meeting point. It is right on the banks of the Mississippi, behind a massive flood wall, but this is one of the few places where you can get up on to the river walk and watch the oil tankers gliding past at eye level. Across the road is Jackson Square and St Patrick’s Cathedral; further down the road is Central Grocery, home of the original muffuleta – a gigantic sandwich large enough to feed a family of four for a day, containing layers of ham, salami, cheese, mortadella, salad and olives in Italian bread. You can sit in the back of the grocery to eat your sandwich, or, if you’re feeling strong, carry it away, ‘cut and wrapped to travel’.

Beyond Central Grocery is the French Market, seething with the kind of chic goth-punk characters who throng the streets of New Orleans. There are 250,000 people in New Orleans who speak French, and the food, the architecture and the shops all reflect this; the music that assaults you from every street corner, however, is entirely Cajun. It is exhilarating, noisy, rhythmic and thoroughly enlivening. Indeed, it is impossible while wandering these streets to feel anything but exhilarated. Years fall away. Everyone looks – and you feel – like a student here.

I just want to correct a few things she says here. I would be surprised if 250,000 people in New Orleans spoke French. Would that it were true. Probably the correct answer is that that number in all of Louisiana speak some form of French.

Also, I’ve gotta say I’ve never heard Cajun music played on the streets in the French Quarter. However, if she is speaking of canned music coming out of some of the souvenir shops, then that’s for the most part’s correct. It’s loud, really too loud. And yes, it does assault you, but I don’t think in a good way.

I do like her final sentence:

The next day we had to fly home, leaving behind an enchanted city – a place, like Venice with added voodoo, that sometimes seems to the outside world to be dancing crazily on the brink of destruction.

Yeah, she kinda nails it. New Orleans is alla dat.


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Posted in Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Food, New Orleans History, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Restaurants.

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