Exotic fare and crafts are the premier attractions of New Orleans festivals, and continuing the tradition of the Jazz Fest’s Congo Square, Reggae Riddums serves up some of the best.
Festival Director Lucille Fortin is an experienced connoisseur of Caribbean food—she’s also been the Assistant Food Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest for the past six years. Lucille promises this year’s crafts and reggae repast as the best ever.
Here’s a sample of some of the great food booths and crafts that are available at the city’s biggest and best reggae celebrations.
FOOD AT THE FEST
Curry Chicken and Curry Goat: Tender chicken or goat, marinated in a wonderful blend of spices by Banana Doe’s Curry Goat Stand. Very Caribbean!
Soft-Shell Crab Po-Boy: Have you tried these overstuffed po-boys dripping with mayo and hot sauce at the Jazz Fest? The same vendor serves up a huge sandwich stuffed with crisp soft-shell crabs.
Fried Catfish Plate: One of New Orleans’ favorite seafood offerings, prepared by New Orleans Cajun Cuisine Caterers.
Stuffed Shrimp and Pasta Salad: Delicious seafood-stuffed shrimp and pasta salad by Douglass Catering.
Creole Stuffed Bell Peppers, Crawfish Peppers, Shrimp Creole: Also a regular at the Jazz Fest. Wonderfully stuffed peppers with just the right pep. Shrimp Creole has a perfect blend of herbs and spices in a tomato-based creole sauce.
Jamaican Spinach Gumbo, Spring Veggie Rolls: This gumbo is similar to the old Creole dish, Gumbo Sauve (a blending of many greens). Rolls are stuffed with a blend of fresh, steamed vegetables.
Fried Shrimp Po-Boy: A regular feature at the Jazz Fest, the classic shrimp po-boy on french bread chock full of well-seasoned, deep-fried shrimp.
Creole Fried Chicken, Island Garden Salad: For reggae fans, a fresh garden salad topped with fresh dressing is always in order. The fried chicken is prepared is prepared by Puff-N-Stuff Catering, a long-time Jazz Fest vendor.
Marrae BBQ Chicken, Turkey Afrikeni: Chicken marinated in barbecue sauce and grilled; and an African version of turkey linguini.
Caribbean Fish, Chicken Jamaican: True island dishes, favorites at the Jazz Fest, prepared by Jamaican chef Cecil Palmer of Palmer’s Restaurant.
Jamaican Black Beans, Creole Red Beans with Sausage: A Jazz Fest newcomer this year, two great dishes! Black beans are prepared with salsa, cheese and chips on top by Chef Ferdinand’s restaurant on the West Bank.
Fried Plantains and Chin Chin: Prepared by the First African Restaurant and Market for Jazz Fest, try the crisp plantains and chin chin (an original African snack).
Vegetarian Rice, Peanut Soup, Carrot Cake: For the vegetarian, favorites from the Jazz Fest’s Congo Square.
There will be many other items at Reggae Riddums…Renaldo Turnbull’s Fru Fru fruit concoction, Caribbean Fruit Salad, sweets (pralines and cookies), Blackened Crab Cakes, watermelon, boiled crawfish, yams, gumbo, and of course, lots of cold beverages and beer.
A very wide selection of crafts are available at Reggae Riddums. If you like the Jazz Fest’s selection at Congo Square, you won’t be disappointed with the crafts at the reggae fest. Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find:
Lofty Notions presents a selection of crystal and symbol jewelry, pouch sets, smudge sticks, trade beads, and more…African Casual Wear has traditional three-piece African wrap sets, African shirts, long dresses, African fabrics and beads…Cultural Awareness’ booth has flags, bags, medallions, earrings, clocks and canes…Q&A Fashions presents short and long pants sets, caps, leggings and cassette tapes. Other items will include numerous types of leather goods, fine and costume jewelry, medallions, necklaces, rings, earrings, wood carvings, home decorating items and much, much more.