If you’ve enjoyed eating out in New Orleans, then there’s no doubt that you’ve eaten at least a couple of Creole Tomatoes. These tomatoes are the essential ingredients in many local dishes, from shrimp creole to po-boys. And make no mistake – there is a big difference between a tomato and a Creole Tomato. Creole Tomatoes thrive in the rich soil and subtropical climate of south Louisiana, and you can taste the difference.
Early June is when we first start seeing the tomatoes ripen, which is why the French Market always holds the Creole Tomato Festival during the first or second weekend of the month.
This year's 28th Annual Creole Tomato Festival runs from Saturday, June 7 to Sunday, June 8 at the French Market for three blocks between Dumaine and Barracks Streets. Each day, the festival will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 7 p.m.
What can you expect from this festival? There’s always a lot going on, but our favorite festival events include:
Cooking Demonstrations – Local chefs will be teaching us how to make everything from Grilled Con Maque Choux to Creole Tomato Jam. There will even be a cooking demonstration on how to make Creole Tomato Cupcakes!
If you can only make it to one cooking demonstration, we suggest going to see what Chef Andrea of Andrea’s Restaurant will be whipping up Saturday at 3 p.m.
Live outdoor music – Many of our favorite local bands will be playing on multiple stages throughout both days.
Our favorites picks: Shotgun Jazz Band, playing from 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Saturday at the Dutch Alley pavilion stage (St. Philip and Decatur Streets), and the Honeypots, playing from 1:45p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Sunday at the Abita Beer Stage (near Barracks Street, alongside the Flee Market).
The food – Really, doesn’t it always come down to the food? Many local restaurants will be setting up shop along with French Market, and it’s the perfect time to sample specialties from many different places. We’ll be trying a lot of different dishes, but definitely making room for the Creole Tomato Oyster Rockefeller and Creole tomato shrimp scampi from Oceana Grill.
There will also be a Creole Tomato eating contest Sunday at 1 p.m. Kids will compete at 1:15 p.m., and adults will compete at 1:30 p.m.
As always, share you pictures from the festival with us on Facebook, or tweet them to @ExpNewOrleans on Twitter. If you send us your pictures, then we’ll be sure to share!
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