Mardi means Tuesday and Gras means Fat, so Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday which is the official beginning of lent. Fat Tuesday traditionally is a day to indulge in sweet, rich, and fatty foods as a last harrah before the lenten period of fasting.
Café du Monde French for “Café of the World”, is a coffee shop on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is known for its café au lait and its French-style beignets.
Last February was my first visit to New Orleans. It was the first day of Mardi Gras. I went to Café du Monde and enjoyed café au lait and beignets.
I especially liked the decorations on all of the houses. The residents go all out and every house is decorated.
There are parades everyday, twice a day. The first parade was February 24, 1857 by the Mystick Krewe of Comus. Founded in 1856 it is the oldest continuos organization of New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities.
The tradition of throwing beads dates back to the 1880’s. It is related to the pagan ritual in which milled grain was thrown as a way of celebrating ones survival of the harsh winter.
This is my collection of beads from my trip.
The King Cake is a combination of american coffee cake and french pasty. Personally, I don’t like it. Make it a pound cake and it would be better. There is a small plastic baby baked inside, the person that is served the baby gets a prize from the host of the party or is the person that will be the host of the party the following year.
No one can travel to New Orleans without eating some traditional New Orleans fare, Etouffe, Gumbo, Jambalaya, Po Boys. Yum.
Last stop, or maybe the first is to Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane.
How to Make an authentic Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane
In a 26 oz. Hurricane glass, mix
- 4 oz. of Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Rum or a good Amber/Gold Rum
- 4 oz. of Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix
- Fill with crushed ice
- Garnish with an orange and cherry
Needless to say I enjoyed my first trip to New Orleans, and at some point plan to go back.
Note: I apologize for the long time between post, the only thing I can say is that life got in the way.
Thank you for reading my post, I would love to hear about your time in New Orleans or how you celebrate Fat Tuesday.