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.
New Orleans, LA – Can I share with you a little secret? Farmers markets may operate for only a few hours a week in each location. What you may not realize is that the relationships established beneath the tents and umbrellas carry on long past the closing bell. One example of this is the relationship between Poplarville's J&D Blueberry Farm and Hubig's Pies. Our city's beloved century long Simon Hubig Pie Company is owned by the Bowman and Ramsey families who when not frying shop at markets. This summer, they were in search of lots of frozen blueberries for their blueberry pie.
New Orleans – By 4:30 in the morning, Al Sunseri is usually performing his pre-dawn stake out near the corner of Iberville and Bourbon streets in the French Quarter. He's an owner of P & J Oyster Co., and he's looking for a parking spot for his delivery truck. It's important to get into position before the beer vans arrive to restock the many nearby bars because P&J workers have their own heavy lifting ahead of them at this particular corner.
New Orleans, LA – If you're like me, you've started your Saturday morning early shopping for the pick of the crop at our region's farmers markets only to head back home in time to brew a pot of coffee and chicory, enjoyed with Isabel's tamales. I then prepare Saturday lunch featuring Mississippi chevre and and cucumbers from La Rose. Sound familiar? The only sounds I've not yet mentioned are the ones on my radio: The Splendid Table on WWNO, 89.9 FM. In the world of public markets, we rely heavily upon the transfer of knowledge we gain from our public radio.
New Orleans – Middendorf's Restaurant turned 75 this year, but the seafood destination in Manchac attained its institution status long before this anniversary. Located by the western edge of Lake Pontchartrain, it has been a landmark on the route between New Orleans and the Northshore for generations. And its specialty of ultra-thin, razor-sliced fried catfish has earned such a following that some New Orleans people routinely make the 40-mile drive for a meal here.
New Orleans, LA – Just as we're recovering from the relentless heat of summer, now we can turn our attention to the question, "What will winter bring?" Yes, we should enjoy the relative comfort of here and now, but what's around the corner? Try this: If you're at the Covington Farmers Market, for instance, strike up a conversation with Jubilee Farms or Taylor's Happy Oaks. Both can provide insight about winter that we as shoppers may not notice. According to Folsom's Jim Core, the tell-tale signs of a strong, cold winter can be found on the weight of the winter coat on his animals.
New Orleans, LA – Who would have thought that without the Society of Jesus, we'd probably not be enjoying satsumas in Greater New Orleans? Let me explain, when the Jesuits arrived here at the start of the 18th century, they also brought with them citrus plants from Asia - including the iconic, loose skinned, seedless tangerine from Satsuma in Japan us locals adore - the Satsuma. Jesuits planted orchards along the banks of the Mississippi River - a practice that continues in Plaquemines Parish (and near Jesuit Bend).
New Orleans, LA – From the ethic of reuse and recycle to the fair trade baskets from West African villages, farmers markets shoppers are expressing their personal ethics be they political, practical, or fashionable with the bags and baskets of their choosing: