"Absinthe Robette" lithograph by Henri Privat-Livemont from 1896, at the peak of absinthe's popularity.
Library of Congress

From the height of its popularity in the 19th century to its modern revival, absinthe has a long and storied reputation. On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we learn all about the formerly illicit elixir, and those whose ongoing fascination with the spirit has helped transform the discourse and regulations here in the United States.

Photo Courtesy Modernist Cuisine LLC

This week on Inside the Arts we explore The Photography of Modernist Cuisine, an exhibit by Microsoft co-founder  Nathan Myhrvold.

The exhibit which explores the science of food is on view at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum through February 29.  We talk with exhibit co-curator Melissa Lukach.

Szechuan pepper shrimp at Nine Roses in Gretna, La.
Ian McNulty

A circuit of Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants in New Orleans serve their own renditions of a distinctive, twice-fried style of seafood that makes a refreshing change of pace from the local standard. 

It goes by different names too --  salt baked seafood, salt and pepper seafood, Szechuan pepper seafood or rang muoi.

Crawfish season brings invitations that are as much about socializing as feasting.
Ian McNulty

Here’s one thing about the seasons in New Orleans: they don’t heed the weather.

Not in a town where you’re likely to be hanging Christmas lights wearing shorts, a T-shirt and a light sweat, or where the most famous winter holiday, Mardi Gras, is celebrated primarily outdoors no matter if its balmy and beautiful or spitting down freezing rain.

Pastry chef Erin Swanson of Restaurant R'evolution.
Poppy Tooker

There's romance in the air on Louisiana Eats!

In celebration of Valentine's Day, we take a trip to the very top of Louisiana, to Holly and Derek Schreiber's Sainte Terre, which hosts some of Louisiana's most romantic weddings. Situated in the small town of Benton, Sainte Terre combines Holly and Derek's culinary prowess and New York style with the devotion of a truly family-run business.

Ian McNulty / WWNO

As parades roll and people hit the streets for Carnival revelry, street food blossoms everywhere.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Most of the fish we eat in the U.S. comes from other countries. Fishermen in Louisiana have long sought to displace some of those imports but the industry has faced challenges like hurricanes and the 2010 BP oil spill.

Now, a new source of fish in the gulf offers promise -- but also raises questions.

Lally Brennan and Poppy Tooker holding up a 2016 Pete Fountain Bobblehead at Commander's Palace.
Joe Shriner

It's Carnival time on Louisiana Eats! On this week's show, we learn about Carnival traditions both public and private, and celebrations both large and small. We begin with a lively discussion about New Orleans' Mardi Gras traditions with Errol Laborde, author of Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival.

Then, we make our way over to Commander's Palace, where Lally Brennan explains the part her family's restaurant plays in fueling Pete Fountain's Half Fast Walking Club on Mardi Gras morning.

Amanda Toups, Isaac Toups & Poppy Tooker at Toups' Meatery.
Joe Shriner

On the cusp of Carnival, the traditional meat celebration before the Lenten fasting begins, we're hosting our very own meat celebration on Louisiana Eats!

King cakes have become a popular cultural icon in New Orleans, though some still look for the satisfaction of an old classic style.
Ian McNulty

King cakes have been popular in New Orleans for a long time. But not this popular. Something has changed.

King cake has become a cultural statement, one of those emblems of pride that New Orleans uses to celebrate itself. King cake is the Saints fleur-de-lis of food. You live it, you wear it, you rally around it.