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May 2, 2012
The official name may be the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but food always has a starring role whenever there's a celebration in the Big Easy. In keeping with the "heritage" idea at this year's Jazz Fest, happening now through May 6, there will be plenty of Cajun and Creole-inspired treats, from boiled crawfish to muffaletta sandwiches, po' boys, red beans & rice, and jambalaya. Perennial favorites like Kajun Kettle Foods' Crawfish Monica (above left) will be on hand. And as he has for the past eight years, Captain Mike Gowland of the New Orleans Fire Department (above right) will be serving up Alligator Sauce Piquante and Shrimp & Okra Gumbo at his booth, Fireman Mike's Kitchen.
But just like the gumbo, the festival is a rich mix of many flavors--not just in the music being played, but in the food you'll find there. This year it includes spring and egg rolls from Ba Mien Vietnamese Cuisine, Jamaican chicken and Caribbean fish from Palmer's Jamaican Cuisine, fried fish tacos from Taqueria Corona, Cuban sandwiches from Canesco's Markets, and tagine of lamb with basmati rice from Jamila's Café.
Of course, you have to have a little something sweet. The festival more than obliges, with sno-balls, Creole cream cheese cake, beignets from Café du Monde, lemon meringue pie, sweet potato pie, fried plantains, coconut macaroons, crème brulée, and many more...
In a city that takes its food seriously, the eats at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival are definitely Character Approved.