Barbecued Shrimp- barbecued shrimp, right? Wrong! Shrimp that is served in a peppery "hot" butter sauce, in its own shell, with the head still on. Popular across south Louisiana
Bayou (by-you)- a sluggish stream, bigger than a creek and smaller than a river. And Louisiana has lots of these.
Beignets (ben-yayz)- Yeast donuts cut into rectangles, deep fried and served hot with powdered sugar and strong New Orleans coffee. Also called French Market Donuts or "un-holey donuts".
Boudin (boo-dan)- Cajun sausage stuffed with lots of rice, spices, and pork, beef, or seafood.
Café au Lait (cafay-oh-lay)- Strong chicory coffee poured together with hot milk. Great with Beignets.
Chicory- a ground root mixed in with coffee prior to brewing. The effect is strong coffee with a bite.
Cities of the Dead- Much of Southern Louisiana is below sea level. Because of this, tombs must be built above the ground. The cemeteries look like mini-cities with tiny streets and fences to separate them. These can be found across most of South Louisiana. Cemeteries in New Orleans are tourist attactions.
Crawfish (craw-fish)- small edible crustaceans. Also called "Mudbugs"; local favorite and are abundant in the months December to June. Never call or spell them craYfish! You also should know what is meant by don't eat the dead ones.
Dressed- When you order your sandwich (Po-boy), you don't say "lettuce, tomato and mayo"; just order it "dressed".
Étouffée (ay-too-fy)- A method of cooking where the meat is smothered by chopped vegetables and cooked over a low flame in a tightly covered pan. Generally made with seafood - crawfish or shrimp.
Fais-do-do (fay-doh-doh)- derived from the European religious festival, "fête de Dieu"; (festival of God), this is a type of street dance or as some would say, "A dance for everyone".
Filé (fee-ley)- A powder made up of dried sassafras leaves and used as a flavoring and thickening agent in some gumbos.
Fresh- In Louisiana food is considered fresh if a minute ago it could still bite YOU.
Gumbo (gum-bo)- The word gumbo comes from the African word for okra which the Cajus learned to thicken their delicious soup of the same name. Other ingredients found in gumbo: chicken, shrimp, crawfish, oysters, crab, sausage, plain vegetables; this dish's ingredients are limited only by the imagination of the cook!
Jambalaya (jum-ba-lie-ya)- a derivative of the French term for ham (jambon), this dish is a version of the Spanish paella. Seasoned with chili powder, and cayenne (kie-yan), the rice is cooked with it. Again, also made with crawfish, shrimp, pork, alligator, - anything you can catch.
Lagniappe (lan-yap)- a Creole word meaning "a little something extra".
Laissez les bons temps rouler! (lay-zay-lay-bawn-tawn-roo-lay)- Let the Good Times Roll! A well used - or on TV, over used - phrase from Louisiana.
LSU- The greatest university ever. Don't believe us? Just show up some Saturday for a tailgate party at "Death Valley" or better yet make plans to meet us in Omaha for the college World Series. We'll be there.
Muffaletta (moo-fah-lotta) a New Orleans sandwich which is made on a huge round sesame roll. Inside are various combinations of thinly sliced meats, cheese, and Itallian olive salad.
Piquant (pee-cont)- Cajun term meaning "hot and it burns your tongue"
Piroge (pee-row)- a one man flat bottomed Cajun canoe. It is said that a good one can float on the morning dew.
Po-Boy (Poh-boy)- a sandwich served on long loaves of crisp French bread. Originally very inexpensive and filling which is one explanation for the name. This food was being enjoyed by New Orleanians long before the popularization of the "hero" and "sub" sandwiches.
Praline (praw-leen)- A classic Creole candy made with pecans, sugar and Karo® syrup.
Roux(roo)- A blend of fat and flour cooked to a precise point of fragrance and color and is the basis of many a Cajun dish.
Streetcar- Green electric coaches that run along a track on the median strip. Mistakenly reffered to by tourists as trolley cars.
Tabasco® - A liquid form of caynenne made from red peppers grown on salt domes on Avery Island.
The Big Easy- Things in New Orleans are done at a snail's pace because people believe in taking life as it comes-"not to worry". Another phrase over used by TV.
Throws- The most unique characteristic of Mardi Gras is the New Orleans traditon of throwing trinkets from the floats. The trinkets are called "throws". Throws can be anything from beads, baubles, and dubloons to plastic cups and coconuts. It is common to hear the expression "Throw me something Mister" from the crowds.
Who Dat?- Common expression around Louisiana's pro football team, the Saints. Started back when the Saints actually started winning a few games. May be brought back this year. 'Course, we think that every year.
Zydeco (zod-e-coh)- from the French word, haricot (string bean), this is a lively variant of Cajun music. Music built around the combination of African-American beats and Cajun "chanky-chank".