While most people look forward to the music that the Jazz Fest provides, many people also are licking their chops at the prospect of devouring the “fest food” that’s available at the Fair Grounds.
As with most other events that take place in New Orleans, there will be lots of great food. Many area restaurants are represented, as well as some other groups such as churches who have participated in the Fest for years.
There will be two designated food areas again this year, with additional eats available in the Congo Square area, the Grandstand, and scattered around the Fair Grounds. What follows is a list of food by type.
There actually will be many other items available in addition to those listed here. For those of you with a sweet tooth, desserts will be sold throughout the grounds and will include such items as frozen yogurt, pralines, snoballs, and the ever-delicious Omar’s pies. The Congo Square area will have five separate booths and will include African goat stew and Chin-Chin (an original African snack). Finally, in the grandstands, you will be able to find “authentic Heritage food,” including flautas, empanadas, suya (African steak), and Benna Chin (Jambalaya).
Some favorites from previous years? The stuffed breads, the red beans (a big seller we are told), Crawfish Monica, Cuban sandwich, and the Creole stuffed crabs. The desserts are all great. Be sure to try one of each. And some new items that sound promising include the oyster and the shrimp brochettes. If there was no music at the Jazz Fest and for the mere $7 admission price a fest-goer could try all of the food just mentioned. I know there are more than a few folks who would spend several days at the Fair Grounds. The trick is to start eating as soon as you get there and pace yourself for the next eight hours or so. I’m told that listening (and inevitably dancing) is a real calorie burner, and it’s a good thing. Some of us wait all year just for the Jazz Fest food.
Soups and Gumbos
Chicken andouille filé gumbo, seafood gumbo, peanut soup, Creole okra gumbo, shrimp and crab bisque, oyster Rockefeller bisque, gazpacho.
Po-boys and Sandwiches
Hot sausage, turkey sausage, hogs head cheese, ham and cheese, oyster, roast beef, catfish, soft-shell crab, stuffed crab, BBQ alligator, alligator sausage, muffaletta, Cuban sandwich.
Pies and Breads
Crawfish pie, shrimp pie, alligator pie, sweet potato pone, crawfish bread, sausage bread, sausage and jalapeno bread, meat pie, Creole’s stuffed bread, broccoli and cheese pie.
Cajun boudin, seafood boudin, crawfish sausage.
Cajun jambalaya, shrimp etouffee, red beans and rice with sausage, Cajun chicken and tasso over green rice, shrimp jambalaya, shrimp creole, vegetarian rice, Creole rice calas, crawfish etouffee.
Crawfish hot tamales, corn macque choux with crawfish tails, crawfish salad, seafood au gratin, stuffed shrimp, BBQ shrimp, shrimp and hearts of palm remoulade, fried crawfish tails, popcorn shrimp, boiled crawfish, oyster patties, fried oysters, boiled crawfish, Creole stuffed crabs, oyster brochettes, shrimp brochettes, crawfish stuffed pepper, crawfish remoulade, crawfish Monica.
Other Seafood (and alligator)
Alligator sauce piquante, blackened fish, Caribbean fish, fish Ferdinand, turtle sauce piquante.
Vegetables, Potatoes and Snacks
Spinach and artichoke casserole, boiled potatoes, cole slaw, spicy potato, stuffed artichoke, potato salad, tossed green salad, oyster eggplant dressing, fried plantains, baked beans, cracklins.
Desserts and sweets
Fruit salad, strawberry shortcake, key lime tart, bread pudding with praline sauce, Italian ice cream, Italian ices, spumoni, cannoli, carrot cake, assorted pies, lemon crepes.