Des Allemands Cafish Festival

Des Allemands Cafish Festival

The teenage girl is seriously in the weeds. She’s wearing the mantle of sole catfish po boy constructor, and is simultaneously trying to keep up with a barrage of texts on her smartphone. The exasperated line of would-be po boy customers is losing the battle as the phone is capturing the lion’s share of her attention.

The Louisiana Catfish Festival is off to an inauspicious start. Just west of the 310 split near Boutte, Louisiana we drop off Hwy 90, and meander along the Old Spanish Trail just east of Des Allemands. We marvel over the incredible array of trailer homes many of which are vintage models that are astonishingly trim, and well maintained. Of course plenty have been allowed to slide into decrepitude. Such is the nature of home ownership everywhere.

Rolling onto the grounds of Saint Gertrude Catholic Church we make our way to the music stage where the beauteous Kristal Breaux (2014 Catfish Queen) is holding court. The crowd is under her sway as is befitting a woman of her stature. After a brief opening ceremony we sprint to the po boy stand where our lives are laid fallow by a smartphone toting teen.

No matter, after a quick analysis of our surroundings, we take note of a group of senior citizens who are manning another food booth. Within moments we’re on the business end of a fat platter of sweet catfish accompanied by stewed down Northern beans and good Louisiana rice.

At $12 this plate is not cheap but we feel good knowing our money will line the coffers of Saint Gertrude and allow the parish to do good work over the coming year.

Catfish boulettes are familiars to boudin balls. Imagine finely minced catfish encased in a hushpuppy-style delivery device. There is nothing we’d rather do than eat something new and we’re glad we fell under the spell of the food hawker who turned us on to this dish.

A woman approaches and beckons us into a feasting hall where a group of rural grannies are hawking handmade desserts for the pittance of $1! All the treats are fine but we enjoy a pluperfect Ooey Gooey dessert that exhibits the hand of a world class pastry chef.

As we prepare to take our leave I spot a potentially amusing photo and inquire of a group of police officers if a member of our group can have her photo taken with them as they all surround a four wheeler.

Two of the gentleman acquiesce but one would clearly prefer to take a truncheon and go upside my skull. His partners rib him and he grudgingly joins the group.

The good people of Des Allemands are excellent and hospitable hosts. Their world class food festival has been running strong since 1975 and we see no reason why it should not enjoy another 40 years of success.

Officer Cranky Pants aside, our day trip to Saint Charles Parish was a resounding success.

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