10 Foods to Experience in New Orleans
Danita Delimont

There is no better place to dine than in New Orleans, a city filled with so many diverse influences from French to African. Here are the top 10 foods you must try while in the New Orleans for the ESSENCE Festival during July 4th weekend.

Beignets are New Orleans’ answer to the doughnut. They are fried dough covered in mounds of powdered sugar. Served piping hot, they are the perfect treat to enjoy along with a cup of coffee.

Po’ Boy
This classic sandwich is one of the most unique foods in New Orleans. A freshly baked baguette is filled with your choice of oysters, shrimp, crawfish, Louisiana hot sausage or roast beef and dressed up with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayonnaise.

Originating in France, the praline has become a staple for all tourists alike. More of a fudge than a cookie, this treat is comprised of brown sugar, butter and pecans is often compared to a pecan pie.

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Stuffed Wings
These are not your Mother’s chicken wings. Leave it to the culinary geniuses of New Orleans to take it to the next level. A product of the thriving Vietnamese community, the ordinary chicken wing is stuffed with onions, mushrooms, shrimp or pork and a host of other ingredients familiar to the area.

Grilled Oysters
No trip is complete without indulging in an order of fresh oysters with Cajun seasonings and a dash of hot sauce. Almost every seafood house in The French Quarter and surrounding areas offer this delicious dish.

Snow Balls
Unlike the snow cones we enjoyed as a child, snow balls are a far different experience. Snow balls are mounds of finely shaved ice drowned in flavored syrup and topped with sweet condensed milk.

Turducken Burger
Who says you can’t have Thanksgiving any time of year? One of the newest food trends to emerge from New Orleans is the Turducken burger. Patties made of ground turkey, duck and chicken are combined with herbs and spices and grilled until the juices run clear. Served on a toasted potato bun and accompanied by either dirty rice or seasoned fries, this sandwich is on the fast track to becoming America’s newest past time.

Banana’s Foster
This dessert was introduced by the famous New Orleans restaurant Brennan’s in the 50‘s and continues to be one of the most popular treats across the country. Usually served table-side, fresh bananas are topped with a thick sauce of sugar, butter, flambéd and served with a double scoop of ice cream. The experience alone is why Banana’s Foster is the undisputed “King of Desserts.”

The American version of paella, jambalaya is a Creole dish infused with French and Spanish influences and originating in the Caribbean. Not to be confused with gumbo and etouffee, the rich stew is prepared in three parts, incorporating meats (shrimp, sausage, beef or ham), vegetables, stock and finally rice. The result is a one-pot meal.

Crawfish Etouffee
Not to be confused with gumbo, etouffee (pronounced eh-too-fey) is a French term meaning “to smother.” This dish is a thick stew with a “blonde” roux and loaded with tons of local seasonings and usually served over a bed of rice and accompanied with a piece of crusty bread. Depending on the season, it can contain either crawfish or shrimp and is celebrated throughout the Cajun state at festivals, concerts and family gatherings.