eating our way round The South
I am a Brit planning a driving 2 week trip from Las vegas to New Orleans. Half the time will be spent in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, etc; the second week heading towards our ultimate destination of New Orleans. We love food of all types and from all places so would love some tips for an authentic taste of The South.
It might be an interesting counter-point, to try the Emeril's in LV, and then the one in NOLA.
Depending on where in AZ, you will be traveling, I might be able to suggest some great spots for you. Post your requests to the SW CH board, and list where you will be, and time of day.
Remember, the "South" is a very broad area. The cuisine of South Carolina, in the South, will differ much from what you will find in New Orleans. Same for Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. The physical area is like looking at France, Spain and parts of Italy - similar history, but different cuisines.
Now, New Orleans is a bit of a melting-pot of many of these. What is considered as New Orleans cuisine, is a mix of FR, ES, some Deep South, and a bit of Creole - Caribbean, with influences of Africa, ES and others. One could say that a certain dish was true "New Orleans," until you dissect the dish. Soon, one finds elements of Africa, the Caribbean-rim, a bit of France, and then a touch of Spanish influence. Many will argue, and rightfully so, that NOLA is not like most of the Deep South. There are strong elements, in the food, but New Orleans is unique. While the English helped settle much of the South, their influence int NNOLA was a bit less. In the Deep South, only Biloxi, MS, is so similar.
There are many restaurants in NOLA, that typify the South, but most are influenced by the cuisine of NOLA, itself. If you have the time, you might want to sample the fare, outside NOLA. Though, the food of New Orleans, itself, is not to be missed. Just remember that it is unique, and not representative of the rest of the South. Many dishes, that are common elsewhere, are rare in NOLA.
Most of all, enjoy your trip and enjoy the different cuisines, that you are likely to encounter.
You won't get much of a tast for "the south" on this trip, but you'll get plenty of cajun and creole food. You'll be driving right through cajun country and there are plenty of great places to try. You'll have to get off at the Scott exit once in Louisiana and go to the Best Stop for so boudin and cracklins.