If there’s one thing that brings the fans to Jazz Fest at the same rate as the music, it’s the food. Cuisine is as integral to the Festival as butter is to toast. With so many wonderful New Orleans/Cajun inspired dishes to choose from, it’s difficult to get a real taste of the Cajun experience.
As you can see, there are so many different foods to sample at Jazz Fest, but with so many choices and so little time to taste them, how can you be sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck? We’ve devised our list of the Top 5 Foods (listed in no particular order) that you absolutely have to try while enjoying the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Crawfish Monica is as much of a staple at Jazz Fest as the limited-edition posters. Creator Pierre Hilzim of Kajun Kettle Foods named his popular dish after his wife, Monica. Crawfish Monica used to only be offered exclusively at Jazz Fest, but its popularity proved too strong, and Hilzim began to sell it at other festivals. The dish tends to sell out quickly, and it is so beloved that it’s been fed to both presidents and popes.
Another crawfish concoction that’s almost entirely exclusive to Jazz Fest, Crawfish Bread is a Jazz Fest culinary favorite. Invented by John Ed Laborde of Panoram Foods, a hometown bakery in Marksville, this dish’s recipe is not as heavily guarded as Crawfish Monica. The original recipe for the bread, which Laborde does keep a secret, supposedly came from his elementary school’s lunch lady.
As an essential New Orleans meal, Jambalaya is closely associated with the city’s heritage and culture. Fresh vegetables, fresh meat, and a variety of spices are cooked together in gigantic cast iron pots to help seal in every flavor imaginable. Different variations on the dish are located throughout the fair grounds, but one that stands out among fans is the chicken-filled Cajun Jambalaya.
Ho boy, we’ve got a hankering for Po-Boys! The explosion of juices that erupts from the first bite is too good to pass up on your trip down to the Big Easy. We’re partial to Vaucresson Sausage Company Po-Boys, but like all things at Jazz Fest, you have your pick of the mill.
It can get real hot out on the fair grounds and when the heat comes, having a cool, delectable treat can be just the thing to keep your body temperature in check and your taste buds alive. Mango freezes are the preferred cold food of choice at Jazz Fest and we fully support the favoritism. Made from fresh mangos, these snack dishes taste so refreshing they should be offered throughout the summer in every ice-cream/sorbet related shop in America.