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New Orleans Food Terms

While it’s not polite to talk with your mouthful – and your mouth will be full in New Orleans – there are a few words you’re going to need to know if you want to cook – and eat – like a New Orleanian. 

Andouille (ahn doo' e)
A spicy pork sausage used in gumbo, jambalaya or with red beans and rice
Alligator Pear
An avocado
Beignet (ben yay')
Lighter than a doughnut, and square (no holes), sprinkled with powdered sugar
Bisque (Bisk)
A thick creamy spicy soup served with crawfish, oysters, or shrimp (fantastic with mudbugs!)
Boudin (boo dan')
Hot, spicy pork mixed with onions, cooked rice, herbs. Two types: boudin blanc is pork and rice, boudin rouge is a blood sausage
Bread Pudding 
Custard baked french bread - often served with raisins and rum sauce
Café au Lait (caf ay' oh lay')
Coffee served with steamed milk. Chicory based coffee is often used.
Sweet fried rice cakes
Chicory (Chick' o ree)
Ground-up, roasted roots from the herb; used to flavor coffee-related to endive
Court Bouillon (coo' boo yon)
A rich, spicy fish soup
Crawfish (craw' fish)
Spicy freshwater shellfish, also known as "mudbugs" from the bayous!
Crème Caramel
A glazed custard
Dirty Rice 
Pan-fried rice cooked with green peppers, onions, celery, stock and giblets
Sandwiches served with lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise-"the works"
Eggs Sardou
Poached egg served with artichoke hearts, and hollandaise sauce
Etouffée (ay' too fay) 
"Smothered" with a dark roux (tomato-based sauce) of seasoned vegetables, poured over rice-usually served with Crawfish
Filé (fee' lay)
Ground sassafras leaves used to season gumbo and other dishes
Grillades (gree' yads)
Thin slices of beef served with a tomato roué
Ground hominy grain, served as breakfast
Gumbo (Gum bow) 
Thick file' soup stock served with rice, duck, chicken, okra, shrimp, crabs (See New Orleans Gumbo recipe-gotta try it!)
Holy Trinity
In a New Orleans kitchen, the Holy Trinity refers to onions bell pepper and celery. Almost every traditional Creole or Cajun recipe call for this trio
Popular fruit punch drink served at Pat O'Brien's. Watch them...they sneak up on you!
Hush Puppy
Fried cornmeal bread ball
Jambalaya (Jum' ba lie' ya) 
Rice based dish with just about everything thrown in! Poultry, tomatoes and cooked rice, ham, shrimp, chicken, celery, onions & and just about every seasoning. (See New Orleans recipes for a great one!)
King Cake
Extra-large oval doughnut pastry dusted with colored candied sugar and often filled with cream cheese, apple filling, etc. A plastic baby doll is hidden inside the cake-the lucky person who gets the piece of cake with the doll inside buys the kingcake for the next party throughout the Mardi Gras season!
Mirliton (Mirl' a tawn)
Pear-shaped vegetable, cooked like squash and stuffed with ham, shrimp and spicy dressing
Crawfish from the bayou! ("Crawfish boils" are a big party in New Orleans!)
Muffuletta (Muf' a lotta) and a lotta it is!
Super-large, round, fat sandwich filled with salami-type meats, mozzarella cheese, pickles, and olive salad
A seeded pod chopped and served in gumbo, or served as a fried dish
Pain Perdu (Pan pair do)
French bread or "lost bread" served in similar fashion to French toast
Plantain (plan' ten)
Vegetable banana side dish - cooked like candied yams, served wih meats; sometimes for breakfast (great!)
French Bread sandwich split open and served with oysters, shrimp, ham, roast beef and gravy, soft-shelled crabs - the list goes on.... "Dressed" means using lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on the sandwich (see above).
Praline (Praw leen')
Brown sugar, pecan-filled, candy patty. (Very sweet and so delicious you can't eat just one! )
Red Beans and Rice 
Monday night tradition in New Orleans-Kidney beans served with rice, seasonings, spices and chunks of hot sausage
Remoulade Sauce (Rum a laud)
Spicy mustard based cocktail sauce
Sauce Piquante (Sauce pee kont)
Spicy red gravy or sauce
Shrimp Creole
Shrimp dish served with a garlic, onion, bell pepper and tomato sauce
Icy, syrupy concotion sold at iconic snoball stands, best enjoyed on humid summer days
Smoked red pepper ham
Trout Meuniere (trout men-yare)
Trout served with a rich butter sauce

More New Orleans lingo!

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