It's Carnival time in Louisiana! We'll take you into the secret realm of some of New Orleans' oldest Mardi Gras krewes by visiting Antoine's and Tujague's Restaurants. Antoine's fifth-generation proprietor Rick Blount gives us a tour of the Rex Room, the Proteus Room, the Twelfth Night Room, and the Hermes Bar. Then, Mark Latter of Tujague's shows us the infamous Krewe d'Etat Room, a place of rollicking misbehavior.
In sharp contrast to elaborate parades and krewes of New Orleans, Mardi Gras in Cajun Country is altogether different. From Lafayette, Toby Rodriguez and Lucius Fontenot talk to us about the prairie Mardi Gras traditions that make Acadiana unique.
Also, Robin Young, host of NPR's Here & Now, turns the tables on Poppy with an interview about Mardi Gras food. There's more to it than just King Cake!
As the king cake joins a long line of New Orleans food traditions up for reinterpretation, bakers and shoppers alike have decisions to make.
King cakes used to be easy. You waited — usually — until the start of Carnival season to get one, you argued about your favorites through the season and eventually you’d groan when yet another cake materialized in the office break room. You had one last slice on Fat Tuesday and that was that.
Other cities might be trudging through cabbage season at this point in winter, but New Orleans is eating cake. From Twelfth Night to Mardi Gras, which is Feb. 12 this year, daily consumption of king cake — a round of sweet dough glazed with purple, gold and green sugar — is more or less compulsory.