New Orleans, LA – It's increasingly common for cities to host community-wide dining specials to entice visitors and draw locals out to restaurants during seasonal tourism lulls. Typically structured as limited-time prix fixe dinner deals, these promotions are often called Restaurant Week, and both winter and summer editions have cropped up. We have something like this in New Orleans too, though, as usual, things are a bit different here.
11/21/2009 – Close your eyes and imagine your family's Thanksgiving table. I put good money on it that it includes Louisiana sweet potatoes. Dark orange and full of beta-carotene, we call them yams (from the West African word "djambi" meaning "to eat"). However, they're not really yams. Yams are long, tree-like tubers from Latin America with waxy bark-like skins. Needless to say, I doubt we'll stop calling them yams anytime soon. This time of year, they're great, they're everywhere and we're seeing more white sweet potatoes than ever before.
Lafayette, LA – As Louisiana recipes are passed down through the generations, it's common for them to acquire family stories and lore. The same thing sometimes happens to cookware, especially the seasoned cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens in which we cook our gumbos, stews and jambalayas.