Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Why New Orleans is such a Great Eating Town

The my city eats better than your city is old, very old. Of course we have to eat what's here, and of course we should like what we have. Still, would not it be pretty nice to have a list like this. From Tom Fitzmorris: [note the typo's are his]

I'm not talking about desserts, but about snacks. All of this is pretty
junky, when you get down to it. But once in awhile. . .

1. Pralines. The classic local candy. Best flavor: praline.

2. Cannoli. Fried pastry shells stuffed with sweetened ricotta cheese,
candied fruit, and pistachios, dusted with powdered sugar. Brocato's
are, of course, definitive: chocolate on one end, vanilla on the other.

3. Satsumas. They're out of season, but when they're in, they're like

4. Sweet potato or pecan pies. The little ones, made by guys like the
late Omar the Pieman, or the ones you get at the Jazz Festival.

5. Beignets. It's sad the way beignets, even from the classic producers
of them, have become so terrible. But when they're not too oily or
dense, they're wonderful.

6. Snowballs. I've had my first dozen of the year already. I find myself
asking for less syrup than they usually put on. Best flavor: ice cream.
Worst flavor: licorice.

7. Roman chewing candy. Atmosphere, 10. Taste, 8. Effect on your
fillings and crowns: 1.

8. Heavenly hash. I' not sure whether this is an Elmer's trademark or
not, but there was a time when many candymakers locally made it.
Chocolate, marshmallow (much less of that then Elmer's uses), and
almonds. The famous one was at D. H. Holmes.

9. Calas. Of almost purely historic note now. The ball-shaped rice
cakes, fried then dusted with brown or powdered sugar, were once sold
hot from carts around the city. I mention them here to encourage
someone--anyone--to revive them. (Still great at the Coffee Pot fro

10. Hubig's lemon delight. I've always felt that there's a lot of room for
improvement in this half-moon-shaped fried pie. The pastry is too
heavy, for example. But when you're in the mood for several hundred
old-style calories, you might have to eat one. I get about one a year.

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