HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >

Discussion

New Orleans top 5 dishes

1 ) The New Orleans Poboy
2) Turtle Soup
3) Gumbo
4) Trout Amandine
5) Char Grilled Oysters

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Boiled seafood
    Gumbo
    Shrimp creole
    Red beans & rice
    Poboy

    14 Replies
    1. re: mrsfury

      Hmm...I guess gumbo would count as NOLA---it is the most famous version or at least has been famous longer than the rural varieties--Boiled seafood? Wwll, I am not sure that's NOLA's sole property but we could get into a huge debate on that. I'd certainly go with Shrimp creole, Turtle Soup, RB&R...I think Grits and Grillades would have to be in there. New Orleans remoulde has to be in the top group but then that leaves a Po' boy out...I suppose remolade could be eliminated because you already have the shrimp creole in there...

      It will be interesting to see what others are nominated...I argue against crawfish etouffee as Not New Orleans..Jambalaya is another fight we can all have fun with....

      1. re: hazelhurst

        I wanted to say jambalaya but I woulda had to leave off poboy. Remoulade! Hmm. Ok I need a top ten list not five. For the record I'm not listing foods that are nola's sole property, just food that I can't get prepared properly anywhere else.

        1. re: mrsfury

          "I'm not listing foods that are nola's sole property, just food that I can't get prepared properly anwhere else."...and there's the issue, it seems to me. Are New Orleans foods things invented here, perfected here? Or are they items that were established elsewhere and changed to local ingredients/tastes etc? I'm thinking that the original idea is something along the lines of "New Orleans Gifts to the World" , including improvements to established food. (See Rex Stout's character Nero Wolfe yakking about "New Orleans boullaibase" as he defends American cooking..James Beard and Clementine Paddelford were not the only ones flying the flag in those days.) One of the nice things about New Orleans food is that it is often a museum piece...perhaps the "Adventurous Diner" has never had a trout meuniere done comme il faut...and that is a great link to history. A perfect shrimp creole is classic food..it needs no embellishment. For some, however, it is shrimp in tomato. You can't learn some folks.

          In the end, though, we must remember we are dealing with food in a Port City...that is where the real fun comes.

          BTW, ever see old jambalaya recipes? Baked in the oven.....

          1. re: hazelhurst

            I always bake jambalaya. And it always has tomatoes, period!!!

        2. re: hazelhurst

          Crawfish Etouffée is definitely a Creole dish, you can check the oldest New Orleans cookbooks for verification, but what passes as jambalaya in New Orleans is what Cajun call Spanish Rice.

          1. re: Argol

            Have never seen a crawfish etoufee in an old New Orleans cookbook

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Please direct me to the "oldest New Orleans cookbooks" that you reference. I just looked in Hearn's "Creole Cookbook" (1884) and the Christian Women's Exchange's "Creole Cookery" (1885), the first two cookbooks in print using the word "Creole" to describe New Orleans cooking....neither one contains a single, solitary recipe for crawfish in any form (though both contain shrimp, crab, oyster, finfish, clam, and turtle recipes). Skipping ahead a bit, I looked in Scott's 1929 book, published by Pelican: no crawfish. Scott & Jones' 1933 "Gourmet's Guide to New Orleans Creole Cookbook" contains just one crawfish recipe: crawfish Newburg.

              So tell me your sources, I'd love to see them.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                I had meant to ask for sources myself but rushed out (this assumes you are asking Argol, as I think you are since we have been in agreement on this matter in the past). The earliest etouffee I found in general print--and I cannot name the book right now but I found it in a library---is a "shrimp etoufee" and it dates from the 1950's. The earliest widely distributed recipe I found is ole River Road 1959. There are earlier ones in newspapers...

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  Didnt the etoufees originate in Cajun Country I dont think they are indigenous to new orleans.

                  1. re: joedontexan

                    In a word, "yes." Etouffee dis not get to New Orleans until the mid twentieth century. It was known, to hunters etc., but not widespread. Al Scramuzza claims credit for bringing crawfish in...but folks were catching them just outside town for years. But etouffee as Creole? No, sorry...

          2. re: hazelhurst

            New to this site, but just want to confrim that NO is Creole food Lafayette Louisiana is home of cajun food (crawfish).. You should also include mufalatta sandwhich from Central Grocery

          3. re: mrsfury

            With ya on everything but the Boiled Seafood. One can find great boiled seafood all across the south and it is Much More Difficult Than It Should Be to find decently priced boiled seafood in the city. The reason in my opinion is there isn't a huge profit margin for the restauranteur and there is no turnover. It takes forever to eat boiled crawfish and shrimp.

            1. re: NolaNick

              You've obviously never seen me eat crawfish. lol

              1. re: roro1831

                My 9 year old eat 15 in about 5 minutes. He is a pro already. My kids have been eating them since they were toddlers and can make several pounds disappear rather quickly.

          4. Tough one. Do you mean dishes that are purely NOLA, or do you mean versions of dishes that one has encountered the "best of," in NOLA.

            Of your list, I'd put it in a slightly different order, and make a change, or two.

            1.) #4
            2.) #2
            3.) #3 (this one is really difficult, as I've had plenty of gumbos elsewhere that might top all NOLA versions. Still, of old time's sake, it comes in at #3.
            4.) #1
            5.) Gotta' be fried shrimp, but see #3, as the best have been in Gulfport, MS and out on Chef Hwy., but both are long, long gone.

            Hunt

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Ah! even as the hours dwindle, Brother Hunt weights in! (Well, different tme zones..) It took me awhile to figure out the re-configuration of numbers..I cannot see the whole screen at the same moment. Fried oysters is a good one to add...again, I remark, are these the items specifically "New Orleans?" I am moved to think again on a recent topic of Oyster Stew...that was known in Mississippi in The Old Days...should we consider it as a possible entry? I think the Racing Secreatary may need to write a new race allowing for more entries FYO & O [Fifty-Years-Old and Older]..

              Who ya' got in Da Belmont? (as if we need t' axe)

              1. re: hazelhurst

                1: blackened redfish...the original version, (pre K-Paul's) from Commanders...atop seared slaw and topped with emulsified lemon butter sauce
                2: Commander's turtle soup
                3: Bozos fried oysters
                4: Brigtsen's softshell with pecan menuiere
                5: Galatoire's trout meuniere with jumbo lump
                6: Commander's bread pudding souffle

                1. re: JazzyB

                  Blackened redfish? I am afraid I cannot go with that on a short list, even the Commander's version (where Prudhomme was doing it first). A grilled redfish is far better and poached redfish is supreme..to immolate one is akin to cooking prime (and I mean REAL prime) beef well done..it is a crime.

                  The Brigtsen's softshell is a good idea...I admit I was thinking in general terms rather than restaurant specific.. Bozoz's fried oysters is a good notion too, but it makes me sad to think that frying oysters has become something that has to be singled out. There have always been plenty of places that fry them badly but it used to be that we had more places that did oysters well.

            2. my highly personal list:
              1. BBQ shrimp (see recent threads on this topic)
              2. red beans & rice, with a side of (pick one) smoked sausage, fried or grilled pork chops, or fried chicken
              3. snowballs with condensed milk
              4.dressed roast beef poboy (a real one, not a deli-sliced & dipped in gravy imposter)
              5. crabmeat au gratin

              20 Replies
              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                Snowball with condensed milk is excellent...I wonder if New Orleans leads the country in condensed milk sales?

                A colleague just suggested a good one: stuffed mirliton. That is certainly something that ain;t seen across Da Lake.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  Snowball with condensed milk? Please tell me more about this one...

                  1. re: princsoreo

                    They drizzle condensed milk over the snowball after the flavoring is added. My favorite flavor is ice cream cream. That's how you'd order it, you say cream instead of condensed milk.

                    1. re: mrsfury

                      Well, not exactly. Many (most?) snowball stands offer two traditional add-ons: "cream" and "condensed milk", which aren't the same thing.....if you order "cream", at most places, you'll get a drizzle of canned, evaporated milk; if you order condensed milk, you'll get condensed milk. A few places mix the two together for a slightly thinner topping. To confuse matters more, some flavors are "cream" flavors, which means the flavor syrup already contains some dairy; you can still get cream added on top of those flavors to gild the lily.

                    2. re: princsoreo

                      The snowball stands sell snowballs with condensed milk as a topping. Chocolate with condensed milk is a personal favorite of mine. Plum Street snowballs does them mighty fine, but i'm sure everyone here has their favorite stand. I'm sure a favorite snowball stand thread will be started soon as the summer heat is quickly approaching.
                      Not sure if you have ever had a New Orleans snowball or not, but they are nothing like a snow cone or shaved ice, the consistency of the ice is much finer, more like snow.

                      1. re: princsoreo

                        it was a progression for me. I started w/just plain flavor, then stepped up to adding cream, then later condensed milk. my faves are chocolate, coconut, ice cream, all w/condensed milk.

                        1. re: edible complex

                          Thanks everyone! I will add this to my "to try" list next time I make it NO!

                      2. re: hazelhurst

                        What does across Da Lake refer to? I've had shrimp stuffed mirliton (in the Lafayette area) for years.

                        1. re: pattisue

                          "across da lake" means St. Tammany Parish & environs, a/k/a "the Northshore"...you know, where you end up if you cross the Causeway heading north.

                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                            Thanks. I hate to admit I've never crossed the Causeway.

                            1. re: pattisue

                              One can get there on the I-10 "twin spans," but you're on the Eastern edge in Slidell. Most of the time, "across the Lake" refers to the Causeway, as HC suggests.

                              Hunt

                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                Moreover, "across D Lake" also means placessuch as, oh Atlanta or New York or Moscow or even Buenos Aires...it is all "out there." (over dere)

                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                  Now, I think that you might be making a geographic "stretch." [Grin]

                                  I learned something not that long ago on the NOLA board. For my life, including the time that I lived in NOLA, the term "out in the Parish," always referred to Jefferson Parish. To many, it also meant St. Bernard, and others. Frame of reference. I have now changed my geographic references to specifiy the exact Parish, St. Tammany, Jefferson or other.

                                  For some, there is NYC, and other places to the west. For folk in LA, it's those places anywhere to the east. Frame of reference.

                                  Hunt

                                  PS for me, the geographically challenged, "across the Lake," could also mean Pontchatoula, though I would expect to head east from there.

                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                    Well, you are correct..."out in da Parish" once meant Jefferson exclusively...except when it didn't mean St Bernard (exclusively) I think we knew by intonation which one was intended.

                                    And why is "East End west of West End?" No one knows...it's a mystery. [Don't try to answer--it ruins the fun]

                                    1. re: hazelhurst

                                      "I think we knew by intonation which one was intended."

                                      I get this one, as I spent much of my misguided youth chasing the young ladies of NOLA, and picking up on such things. I was one of those dreaded "frats."

                                      Still, when I think of Crabby Jacks, I think of "The Parish." Still, for general geographical reference, I now try to do better now, as someone following along at home in Chicago might not know what I'm talking about. Many have to Google "Parish," to understand, and then it might well not be clear.

                                      Maybe this is something that folk on the NOLA board might wish to consider, as so very many wonderful tourists are not from, nor are they familar with, the region.

                                      For most, that great food can be obtained in many neighborhoods, or even Parishes, should be reason to learn of the history and the geography of NOLA.

                                      Hunt

                      3. re: Hungry Celeste

                        hey guys, where would you recommend for getting a *good* snowball?

                        1. re: MHC

                          The Standard By wWhich All Others Are Judged is Hansen's but dey ain't open yet. Plum street is rite good, too

                            1. re: roro1831

                              Be ready to stand in line for a while at Hansen's. The last time I was there (admittedly a long time ago - pre Katrina) the line was over two blocks long... and worth every minute of the wait!

                            2. re: hazelhurst

                              Thanks! Will try and report back.

                        2. Red Beans and Rice with Fried Chicken
                          Raw Oysters
                          Roast Beef Po Boy
                          Spaghetti with Guaniciale and Fried Poached Egg
                          Souffle Potatoes

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Lyonola

                            The food must be essentially new orleans and yes a top ten list maybe it should have been. nice suggestions yall have made.

                          2. You folks have no sense of history.

                            1) Poboy
                            2) Gumbo
                            3) oysters Rockefeller
                            4) redfish courtbullion
                            5) turtle soup

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: TomFreeland

                              No sese of hist'ry? mebbe..seems to me that History hass been well-served here. I agree about oysters Rock but the probalem ther is that so many versions are spinach with Herbsaint and a few other items...some are downright lethal. The Antoine's version (well, it is not a version, it is The Real thing--no spinach)is still the non-pareil. If we stick too that one, I agree it should be in the list but I think the number ot items has now grown to about ten.... Then, too, we could add Oysters Bienville--again, this is Firs Rate when done well but there are many crimes committed under its name....

                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                IF anyone is interested in more detailed history of many of our favorite dishes, I just bought the book, New Orleans Cuisine, Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories. Edited by Susan Tucker. I love the detailed history of the dishes in the book. There is just so much richness and flavor in New Orleans cuisine, so reading this book was interesting and hunger inducing. I would highly recommend this book to all my fellow NOLA foodies.

                                1. re: ScarlettNola

                                  Diligent thought I am, I've missed this obviosly noteworthy publication..shall make remidial efforts at once.

                                  1. re: hazelhurst

                                    It really is fabulous. You will have to let me know what you think! I am in the middle of it now and am truly enjoying.

                              2. re: TomFreeland

                                Sorry, but I eat in the present, not the past. History is fine for studying. I want my food fresh.