Saturday, 14 April 2012

A Guide to Traditional Mardi Gras Foods - Food

Much of the spirit of Mardi Gras is tied to the food. If you cant make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year, celebrate it at home with family and friends. Here are some ideas on how to serve traditional Mardi Gras food without spending days in the kitchen or a fortune.Because Mardi Gras, the last day of Carnival is celebrated around the world in Central America, Europe, South America, the U.S., the Caribbean Islands among others, recipes and food are varied.

In New Orleans the main cultural influences are French, Cajun and Creole. Some of the most popular Mardi Gras foods include Louisiana deviled crab cakes, crawfish pie and Louisiana bayou fish fry. Magazines like Bon Appetit, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart Living often feature these and other Mardi Gras recipes in their February issues.

Another popular New Orleans dish is gumbo, a thick, spicy and hearty stew that may include several types of meat, bell peppers, celery and onions and is typically served over rice. And because New Orleans is on the Gulf, seafood is a vital part of main course for Mardi Gras foods. Popular seafood main dishes are Crab Creole Shrimp, Creole crawfish boil and a fried catfish po boy sandwich. Find recipes for these Mardi Gras main dishes in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and Cooking Light.

Desserts are also an essential part of the Mardi Gras feast. Bananas Foster is a popular traditional Mardi Gras dessert that features bananas cooked in a sauce made from butter, brown sugar and alcohol. Other popular traditional desserts are the beignet, a French-style deep-fried doughnut sprinkled with powdered sugar and the paczki, a fried-doughnut dish from Poland. During Lent, ingredients like flour and lard were forbidden, so the pastry was created to use up these substances on Fat Tuesday.

Above all the most popular traditional Mardi Gras food is the King Cake, similar to brioche, a sweetened yeast bread, decorated with a sprinkling of colored sugar. Find recipes for bananas foster, beignets, packzkis and King Cake in food magazines like Cooks Illustrated, Cooking Light and Bon Appetit.

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